Deep Sequencing Reveals Uncharted Isoform Heterogeneity of the Protein-Coding Transcriptome in Cerebral Ischemia.


Laboratory for Stroke Research and Noncoding RNA Biology, JFK Neuroscience Institute, HackensackMeridian Health JFK Medical Center, 65 James Street, Edison, NJ, 08820, USA. [Email]


Gene expression in cerebral ischemia has been a subject of intense investigations for several years. Studies utilizing probe-based high-throughput methodologies such as microarrays have contributed significantly to our existing knowledge but lacked the capacity to dissect the transcriptome in detail. Genome-wide RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) enables comprehensive examinations of transcriptomes for attributes such as strandedness, alternative splicing, alternative transcription start/stop sites, and sequence composition, thus providing a very detailed account of gene expression. Leveraging this capability, we conducted an in-depth, genome-wide evaluation of the protein-coding transcriptome of the adult mouse cortex after transient focal ischemia at 6, 12, or 24 h of reperfusion using RNA-seq. We identified a total of 1007 transcripts at 6 h, 1878 transcripts at 12 h, and 1618 transcripts at 24 h of reperfusion that were significantly altered as compared to sham controls. With isoform-level resolution, we identified 23 splice variants arising from 23 genes that were novel mRNA isoforms. For a subset of genes, we detected reperfusion time-point-dependent splice isoform switching, indicating an expression and/or functional switch for these genes. Finally, for 286 genes across all three reperfusion time-points, we discovered multiple, distinct, simultaneously expressed and differentially altered isoforms per gene that were generated via alternative transcription start/stop sites. Of these, 165 isoforms derived from 109 genes were novel mRNAs. Together, our data unravel the protein-coding transcriptome of the cerebral cortex at an unprecedented depth to provide several new insights into the flexibility and complexity of stroke-related gene transcription and transcript organization.


Cerebral cortex,Gene expression,Ischemia,Mouse,RNA-sequencing,

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