Cold-induced silencing by long antisense transcripts of an Arabidopsis Polycomb target.
Nature. 2009 Dec 10; 462(7274):799-802
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This paper reports an unexpected finding that cold-treated plants induce long, non-coding antisense transcripts of the Arabidopsis floral repressor FLC, which silence the expression of their sense counterparts.
FLC is the central floral repressor that transcriptionally down-regulates several genes required for flowering. It is well known that exposure of plants to prolonged cold (i.e. vernalization) attenuates this FLC-dependent floral repression through the Polycomb-mediated epigenetic silencing of the FLC locus. The authors discovered that, in addition to this well-characterized mechanism, cold treatment induces production of long antisense transcripts designated COOLAIR that overlap the entire FLC coding region. The cold-induced upregulation of COOLAIR coincides with reduction of FLC mRNA, suggesting that such non-coding antisense transcripts play an indispensable role in the FLC transcriptional silencing. More importantly, it was shown that incorporation of the putative COOLAIR promoter sequence, which corresponds to the 3' region of FLC, downstream of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene is sufficient to repress the reporter expression in a cold-responsive manner. To our knowledge, this is the first description of long antisense transcripts involved in transcriptional silencing in plants. In the future, it would be interesting to see what fraction of the plant genome is subject to regulation by such long antisense transcript-mediated gene silencing.
Citovsky V and Magori S: F1000Prime Recommendation of [Swiezewski S et al., Nature 2009, 462(7274):799-802]. In F1000Prime, 18 Jan 2010; DOI: 10.3410/f.1491956.974055. F1000Prime.com/1491956#eval974055
F1000Prime Recommendations, Dissents and Comments for [Swiezewski S et al., Nature 2009, 462(7274):799-802]. In F1000Prime, 24 Apr 2014; F1000Prime.com/1491956
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