Distinct polyadenylation landscapes of diverse human tissues revealed by a modified PA-seq strategy


  • T. Ni
  • Y. Yang
  • D. Hafez
  • W. Yang
  • K. Kiesewetter
  • Y. Wakabayashi
  • U. Ohler
  • W. Peng
  • J. Zhu


  • BMC Genomics


  • BMC Genomics 14 (1): 615


  • Background: Polyadenylation is a key regulatory step in eukaryotic gene expression and one of the major contributors of transcriptome diversity. Aberrant polyadenylation often associates with expression defects and leads to human diseases. Results: To better understand global polyadenylation regulation, we have developed a polyadenylation sequencing (PA-seq) approach. By profiling polyadenylation events in 13 human tissues, we found that alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA) is prevalent in both protein-coding and noncoding genes. In addition, APA usage, similar to gene expression profiling, exhibits tissue-specific signatures and is sufficient for determining tissue origin. A 3? untranslated region shortening index (USI) was further developed for genes with tandem APA sites. Strikingly, the results showed that different tissues exhibit distinct patterns of shortening and/or lengthening of 3? untranslated regions, suggesting the intimate involvement of APA in establishing tissue or cell identity. Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive resource to uncover regulated polyadenylation events in human tissues and to characterize the underlying regulatory mechanism.