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Mouse transcriptome

Neutral evolution of ‘non-coding’ complementary DNAs


(Arising from: Y. Okazaki et al. Nature 420, 563–573 200210.1038/nature01266; Okazaki et al. reply)

Okazaki et al. have argued that as many as 15,815 of 33,409 non-redundant mouse complementary DNAs may represent functional RNA genes1, on the basis of their findings that some of these cDNAs are confirmed by expressed sequence tagging and are found near CpG islands or polyadenylation signals2 — although many are expressed at such low levels that they could not be detected by microarray analysis3. We show here that conservation of these ‘non-coding’ cDNAs in rats or humans is no better than in an evolutionarily neutral control. Our results indicate that they are either non-functional or, if they are functional, are specific to a given species.

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Figure 1: Comparisons between rat (left) and human (right) data.


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Correspondence to Gane Ka-Shu Wong.

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Wang, J., Zhang, J., Zheng, H. et al. Neutral evolution of ‘non-coding’ complementary DNAs. Nature 431, 1–2 (2004).

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