Safe at home!

April 27, 2009

Nothing like a steal of home to get a crowd going.

Of course, what is missing from all the buzz about this is how Ellsbury set up the first run of the game with his base-running, coaxing a throwing error out of the Yankee’s third baseman.

These ain’t your grandpa’s Red Sox.

Convergent transcription, polyadenylation, RNA editing, and regulation

April 27, 2009

One of the mechanisms by which polyadenylation may contribute to the regulation of gene expression (on paper, at least) involves gene pairs that are situated near each other and transcribed convergently.  In these instances, polyadenylation and transcription termination need to occur to prevent the production of RNAs that are anti-sense to the two members of the convergently-transcribed gene pair.  Overlapping transcripts could lead to the formation of double-stranded RNAs that could in turn trigger regulatory mechanisms, resulting in altered accumulation of the corresponding transcripts.

It is in this vein that a recent study from Gordon Carmichael’s lab at the University of Connecticut is of interest.  Briefly, these authors report that the early-to-late transition in gene expression in cells infected with the mouse polyoma virus is accomplished (at least in part) by a reduction in polyadenylation efficiency of the primary transcript encoding the so-called late genes.  Interestingly enough, this reduction in polyadenylation efficiency seems to be due to A-to-I editing of the region around the polyadenylation signal.  This editing in turn may be traced to an overlap of the early and late transcripts, such that double-stranded RNAs (the substrate for the A-to-I editing complex) that include the late polyadenylation signal are produced and edited before pre-mRNA processing occurs. Read the rest of this entry »