Multi-tissue observation of the long non-coding RNA effects on sexually biased gene expression in cattle

  • Yoon, Joon (Department of Natural Science, Interdisciplinary Program in Bioinformatics, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, Heebal (Department of Natural Science, Interdisciplinary Program in Bioinformatics, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2018.07.06
  • Accepted : 2018.11.14
  • Published : 2019.07.01


Objective: Recent studies have implied that gene expression has high tissue-specificity, and therefore it is essential to investigate gene expression in a variety of tissues when performing the transcriptomic analysis. In addition, the gradual increase of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) annotation database has increased the importance and proportion of mapped reads accordingly. Methods: We employed simple statistical models to detect the sexually biased/dimorphic genes and their conjugate lncRNAs in 40 RNA-seq samples across two factors: sex and tissue. We employed two quantification pipeline: mRNA annotation only and mRNA+lncRNA annotation. Results: As a result, the tissue-specific sexually dimorphic genes are affected by the addition of lncRNA annotation at a non-negligible level. In addition, many lncRNAs are expressed in a more tissue-specific fashion and with greater variation between tissues compared to protein-coding genes. Due to the genic region lncRNAs, the differentially expressed gene list changes, which results in certain sexually biased genes to become ambiguous across the tissues. Conclusion: In a past study, it has been reported that tissue-specific patterns can be seen throughout the differentially expressed genes between sexes in cattle. Using the same dataset, this study used a more recent reference, and the addition of conjugate lncRNA information, which revealed alterations of differentially expressed gene lists that result in an apparent distinction in the downstream analysis and interpretation. We firmly believe such misquantification of genic lncRNAs can be vital in both future and past studies.


Supported by : Rural Development Administration


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