Polyadenylation [poly(A)] is a vital step in post-transcriptional processing of pre-mRNA. Alternative polyadenylation is a widespread mechanism of regulating gene expression in eukaryotes. Defining poly(A) sites contributes to the annotation of transcripts’ ends and the study of gene regulatory mechanisms. Here, we survey methods for collecting poly(A) sites using high-throughput sequencing technologies and summarize the general processes for genome-wide poly(A) site identifications. We also compare the performances of various poly(A) site prediction models and discuss the relationship between poly(A) site identification from sequencing projects and predictive modeling. Moreover, we attempt to address some potential problems in current researches and propose future directions related to polyadenylation research.
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