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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Upstream elements present in the 3'-untranslated region of collagen genes influence the processing efficiency of overlapping polyadenylation signals.

3'-Untranslated regions (UTRs) of genes often contain key regulatory elements involved in gene expression control. A high degree of evolutionary conservation in regions of the 3'-UTR suggests important, conserved elements. In particular, we are interested in those elements involved in regulation of 3' end formation. In addition to canonical sequence elements, auxiliary sequences likely play an important role in determining the polyadenylation efficiency of mammalian pre-mRNAs. We identified highly conserved sequence elements upstream of the AAUAAA in three human collagen genes, COL1A1, COL1A2, and COL2A1, and demonstrate that these upstream sequence elements (USEs) influence polyadenylation efficiency. Mutation of the USEs decreases polyadenylation efficiency both in vitro and in vivo, and inclusion of competitor oligoribonucleotides representing the USEs specifically inhibit polyadenylation. We have also shown that insertion of a USE into a weak polyadenylation signal can enhance 3' end formation. Close inspection of the COL1A2 3'-UTR reveals an unusual feature of two closely spaced, competing polyadenylation signals. Taken together, these data demonstrate that USEs are important auxiliary polyadenylation elements in mammalian genes.[1]


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