Only a few examples of antisense transcripts have been extensively characterized in the human genome and they are often associated with imprinted loci. In an Advanced Online Publication in Nature Biotechnology, Rodrigo Yelin and colleagues at Compugen Ltd, Israel, propose that regulation by antisense transcription may be more widespread than currently believed (Nature Biotechnology, DOI:10.1038/nbt808, 17 March, 2003).

Yelin et al. used a computational approach (the 'Antisensor' algorithm) to identify 2,667 human genomic loci with evidence of transcripts from both strands. Microarray analysis with strand-specific oligonucleotide probes demonstrated that as many as 60% of these may be true sense-antisense pairs. This places the number of possible antisense-regulated genes much higher than previous estimates.

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