Generation of Chimeric RNAs by cis-splicing of adjacent genes (cis-SAGe) in mammals

Yi Chuan. 2018 Feb 20;40(2):145-154. doi: 10.16288/j.yczz.17-197.


Chimeric RNA molecules, possessing exons from two or more independent genes, are traditionally believed to be produced by chromosome rearrangement. However, recent studies revealed that cis-splicing of adjacent genes (cis- SAGe) is one of the major mechanisms underlying the formation of chimeric RNAs. cis-SAGe refers to intergenic splicing of directly adjacent genes with the same transcriptional orientation, resulting in read-through transcripts, termed chimeric RNAs, which contain sequences from two or more parental genes. cis-SAGe was first identified in tumor cells, since then its potential in carcinogenesis has attracted extensive attention. More and more scientists are focusing on it. With the development of research, cis-SAGe was found to be ubiquitous in various normal tissues, and might make a crucial contribution to the formation of novel genes in the evolution of genomes. In this review, we summarize the splicing pattern, expression characteristics, possible mechanisms, and significance of cis-SAGe in mammals. This review will be helpful for general understanding of the current status and development tendency of cis-SAGe.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • RNA Isoforms / genetics*
  • RNA Precursors / genetics*
  • RNA Splicing*


  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • RNA Isoforms
  • RNA Precursors