Background: Despite the importance of alternative poly-adenylation and 3' UTR length for a variety of biological phenomena, there are limited means of detecting UTR changes from standard transcriptomic data.
Results: We present the diffUTR Bioconductor package which streamlines and improves upon differential exon usage (DEU) analyses, and leverages existing DEU tools and alternative poly-adenylation site databases to enable differential 3' UTR usage analysis. We demonstrate the diffUTR features and show that it is more flexible and more accurate than state-of-the-art alternatives, both in simulations and in real data.
Conclusions: diffUTR enables differential 3' UTR analysis and more generally facilitates DEU and the exploration of their results.
Keywords: Alternative poly-adenylation; Alternative splicing; Differential exon usage; Gene expression; RNAseq; Transcriptomic; UTR; Untranslated region.