The Detection and Bioinformatic Analysis of Alternative 3' UTR Isoforms as Potential Cancer Biomarkers

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 18;22(10):5322. doi: 10.3390/ijms22105322.


Alternative transcript cleavage and polyadenylation is linked to cancer cell transformation, proliferation and outcome. This has led researchers to develop methods to detect and bioinformatically analyse alternative polyadenylation as potential cancer biomarkers. If incorporated into standard prognostic measures such as gene expression and clinical parameters, these could advance cancer prognostic testing and possibly guide therapy. In this review, we focus on the existing methodologies, both experimental and computational, that have been applied to support the use of alternative polyadenylation as cancer biomarkers.

Keywords: 3′ focused RNA-seq; alternative polyadenylation; bioinformatics; cancer biomarkers; scRNA-seq.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions*
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Polyadenylation
  • RNA Splice Sites
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Seq
  • Single-Cell Analysis


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • RNA Splice Sites
  • RNA, Messenger