Ube3a-ATS is an atypical RNA polymerase II transcript that represses the paternal expression of Ube3a

Human Molecular Genetics
Linyan MengArthur L Beaudet


The Angelman syndrome gene, UBE3A, is subject to genomic imprinting controlled by mechanisms that are only partially understood. Its antisense transcript, UBE3A-ATS, is also imprinted and hypothesized to suppress UBE3A in cis. In this research, we showed that the mouse antisense ortholog, Ube3a-ATS, was transcribed by RNA polymerase (RNAP) II. However, unlike typical protein-coding transcripts, Ube3a-ATS was not poly-adenylated and was localized exclusively in the nucleus. It was relatively unstable with a half-life of 4 h, shorter than most protein-coding RNAs tested. To understand the role of Ube3a-ATS in vivo, a mouse model with a 0.9-kb genomic deletion over the paternal Snrpn major promoter was studied. The mice showed partial activation of paternal Ube3a, with decreased expression of Ube3a-ATS but not any imprinting defects in the Prader-Willi syndrome/Angelman syndrome region. A novel cell culture model was also generated with a transcriptional termination cassette inserted downstream of Ube3a on the paternal chromosome to reduce Ube3a-ATS transcription. In neuronally differentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells, paternal Ube3a was found to be expressed at a high level, comparable with that of the maternal allele. To further...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Ube3a protein, mouse
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Early Promoters, Genetic
RNA Polymerase II
Transcription, Genetic
Antisense RNA
Angelman Syndrome
Genomic Imprinting

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Angelman Syndrome

Angelman syndrome is a neurogenetic imprinting disorder caused by loss of the maternally inherited UBE3A gene and is characterized by generalized epilepsy, limited expressive speech, sleep dysfunction, and movement disorders. Here is the latest research.