Dehydration stress extends mRNA 3′ UTRs with noncoding RNA functions ($)

Sun et al. observed that under dehydration stress, many genes showed a 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) extension of roughly 200 – 800 nucleotides. The outcome of these extensions appears to be the regulation of other genes. For example, through their extension, many (more than 600) of the extended mRNAs overlapped with genes on the opposite strand (described here as sense transcripts), and many of these sense transcript genes showed a decrease in expression levels. Other extended RNAs overlapped with promoters of genes on the same strand via their extension, resulting in an increase in expression levels of the overlapped genes. This report suggests a novel strategy for stress-regulated gene expression. Genome Research 10.1101/gr.218669.116 Another paper published this week, by de Lorenzo et al., shows that alternate polyadenylation sites affect mRNA stability and so gene expression during hypoxia – see Plant Cell 10.1105/tpc.16.00746