Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Genome Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Badges Research news

The mammalian transcriptome

Jonathan B Weitzman

Genome Biology 2002, 3:spotlight-20021205-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20021205-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:5 December 2002

© 2002 BioMed Central Ltd

Research news

In the December 5 Nature the FANTOM Consortium and the RIKEN Genome Exploration Groups report a comprehensive characterization of the mouse transcriptome (Nature 2002, 420:563-573).

Only a small proportion of the mouse genome is transcribed into functional readouts - protein-coding and non-coding mRNAs. The Japanese initiative is a large-scale project to sequence full-length mouse cDNAs for functional annotation. The FANTOM2 clone set contains 60,770 cDNAs of which around 21,000 clones were previously reported. The term 'transcriptional unit' (TU) is used to avoid complications arising from alternative splicing that generates proteins with different sequences. Most clones come from cDNA libraries from C57BL/6J mice (the strain used by the Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium - see spotlight).

Computational analysis reduced the clones to 33,409 representative transcript clusters, around of half of which are predicted to code for proteins. Around 41% of transcripts showed evidence of alternative splicing. Splicing was also found in non-coding transcripts. The functional significance of non-coding TUs, many of which are expressed at low levels, remains to be elucidated. There are 2,431 pairs of overlapping sense-antisense transcripts, suggesting that antisense mRNA regulation may be quite widespread. About 92% of predicted proteins contain a predicted protein domain. The FANTOM2 collection includes mouse homolog of human genes involved in disease.

This study has generated the largest set of independent full-length clones for any species to date and will provide a useful tool for future functional genomics approaches.


  1. [] webcite


  2. [] webcite


  3. [] webcite


  4. Functional annotation of a full-length mouse cDNA collection.

    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  5. [http:/ / researchnews/ default.asp?arx_id=gb-spotlight-200 21205-02] webcite

    The mouse genome

  6. [] webcite

    MouSDB (Database of splice variants in the mouse transcriptome)

  7. [] webcite

    Disease gene matrix