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Front Genet 2019 Jul 03;10:647. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00647.
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Modeling of Genome-Wide Polyadenylation Signals in Xenopus tropicalis.

Zhu S , Wu X , Fu H , Ye C , Chen M , Jiang Z , Ji G .

Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is an important post-transcriptional modification event to process messenger RNA (mRNA) for transcriptional termination, transport, and translation. In the present study, we characterized poly(A) signals in Xenopus tropicalis using 70,918 highly confident poly(A) sites derived from 16,511 protein-coding genes to understand their roles in the regulation of embryo development and gender difference. We examined potential factors, including the gene length, the number of introns in a gene, and the intron length, that may affect the prevalence of APA. We observed 12 prominent poly(A) signal patterns, which accounted for approximately 92% of total APA sites in Xenopus tropicalis. Among them, three patterns are specific to X. tropicalis, so they are absent in other animals such as humans or mice. We catalogued APA sites based on their genomic regions and developed a bioinformatics pipeline to identify over-represented signal patterns for each class. Then the schema of cis elements for APA sites in each genomic region was proposed. More importantly, APA usage is dramatically dynamic in embryos along five developmental stages and well-coordinated with the maternal-to-zygotic transition event. We used an entropy-based method to identify developmental stage-specific APA sites and identified significant signal patterns around specific sites and constitutive sites. We found that the APA frequency in different genomic regions varies with developmental stages and that those sites located in intron or coding sequence regions contribute most to the dynamics of gene expression during developmental stages. This study deciphers the characteristics and poly(A) signal patterns for both canonical APA sites and non-canonical APA sites across different developmental stages and gender dimorphisms in X. tropicalis, providing new insights into the dynamic regulation of distal and proximal APA.

PubMed ID: 31333724
PMC ID: PMC6616101
Article link: Front Genet

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis
Genes referenced: cer1 dse

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References [+] :
Amaya, Frog genetics: Xenopus tropicalis jumps into the future. 1998, Pubmed, Xenbase