The noncoding RNA Xist has been shown to direct the mammalian dosage compensation pathway. Expression of the Xist RNA is regulated through an uncharacterized post-transcriptional mechanism, thought to involve Xist RNA stability. We have previously demonstrated that Xist RNA isoforms contain different 3′ ends. In this report we analyze the expression patterns of Xist RNA isoforms and show the Xist RNA long form (L-isoform) is the predominant form in early development. Significant amounts of both the short form (S-isoform) and the L-isoform were found in the female soma. We also define the precise sequence structure of the Xist RNA isoforms 3′ ends and show the S-isoform and the L-isoform are structurally dissimilar. Our data show both the S-isoform and L-isoform are cleaved from the same primary transcript. However, the S-isoform is subsequently post-transcriptionally polyadenylated, while the L-isoform is not post-transcriptionally polyadenylated. Sequence organization of the L-isoform shows that there are at least five different nonadenylated L-isoforms in the female soma and only one in embryonic stem (ES) cells. This stem cell–and somatic cell–specific processing may suggest a role for Xist RNA processing in the regulation of Xist RNA expression.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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