Characterization of basal and estrogen-regulated antisense transcription in breast cancer cells: Role in regulating sense transcription

Tim Y. Hou, Tulip Nandu, Rui Li, Minho Chae, Shino Murakami, W. Lee Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Estrogen-responsive breast cancer cells exhibit both basal and estrogen-regulated transcriptional programs, which lead to the transcription of many different transcription units (i.e., genes), including those that produce coding and non-coding sense (e.g., mRNA, lncRNA) and antisense (i.e., asRNA) transcripts. We have previously characterized the global basal and estrogen-regulated transcriptomes in estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Herein, we have mined genomic data to define three classes of antisense transcription in MCF-7 cells based on where their antisense transcription termination sites reside relative to their cognate sense mRNA and lncRNA genes. These three classes differ in their response to estrogen treatment, the enrichment of a number of genomic features associated with active promoters (H3K4me3, RNA polymerase II, open chromatin architecture), and the biological functions of their cognate sense genes as analyzed by DAVID gene ontology. We further characterized two estrogen-regulated antisense transcripts arising from the MYC gene in MCF-7 cells, showing that these antisense transcripts are 5′-capped, 3′-polyadenylated, and localized to different compartments of the cell. Together, our analyses have revealed distinct classes of antisense transcription correlated to different biological processes and response to estrogen stimulation, uncovering another layer of hormone-regulated gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110746
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020


  • Antisense RNA
  • Antisense transcription
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Estrogen signaling
  • MYC gene
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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