Untranslated Parts of Genes Interpreted: Making Heads or Tails of High-Throughput Transcriptomic Data via Computational Methods: Computational methods to discover and quantify isoforms with alternative untranslated regions.
Bioessays. 2017 Dec;39(12):
Authors: Szkop KJ, Nobeli I
In this review we highlight the importance of defining the untranslated parts of transcripts, and present a number of computational approaches for the discovery and quantification of alternative transcription start and poly-adenylation events in high-throughput transcriptomic data. The fate of eukaryotic transcripts is closely linked to their untranslated regions, which are determined by the position at which transcription starts and ends at a genomic locus. Although the extent of alternative transcription starts and alternative poly-adenylation sites has been revealed by sequencing methods focused on the ends of transcripts, the application of these methods is not yet widely adopted by the community. We suggest that computational methods applied to standard high-throughput technologies are a useful, albeit less accurate, alternative to the expertise-demanding 5′ and 3′ sequencing and they are the only option for analysing legacy transcriptomic data. We review these methods here, focusing on technical challenges and arguing for the need to include better normalization of the data and more appropriate statistical models of the expected variation in the signal.
PMID: 29052251 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]