Natural antisense transcripts, because of their potential to form double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules, recently emerged as a mechanism acting on eukaryotic gene regulation at multiple levels. CHRNA3 and CHRNA5, coding for α3 and α5 subunits of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, have been reported to overlap at their 3′ends in human and bovine genomes. In the present paper, four CHRNA3 and three CHRNA5 human transcripts were characterised, leading to the identification of different antisense complementary regions. Since the two genes are coexpressed in some neuronal and non-neuronal tissues, we ventured on the in vivo identification of RNA-RNA duplexes in both humans and cattle. Using an RNase protection-based approach, CHRNA3/CHRNA5 duplexes were detected in human neuroblastoma SY5Y cells, but not in bovine cerebellum. A semi-quantitative analysis of overlapping transcript levels was performed by real-time RT-PCR. Possible consequences of sense-antisense interaction are discussed.
- Alternative transcripts
- Double-stranded RNA
- Natural antisense transcripts (NATs)
- Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)
- Tail-to-tail overlap
ASJC Scopus subject areas