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Despite the many advantages of Caenorhabditis elegans, biochemical approaches to study tissue-specific gene expression in post-embryonic stages are challenging. Here, we report a novel experimental approach for efficient determination of tissue-specific transcriptomes involving the rapid release and purification of nuclei from major tissues of post-embryonic animals by fluorescence-activated nuclei sorting (FANS), followed by deep sequencing of linearly amplified 3'-end regions of transcripts (3'-end-seq). We employed these approaches to compile the transcriptome of the developed C. elegans intestine and used this to analyse tissue-specific cleavage and polyadenylation. In agreement with intestinal-specific gene expression, highly expressed genes have enriched GATA-elements in their promoter regions and their functional properties are associated with processes that are characteristic for the intestine. We systematically mapped pre-mRNA cleavage and polyadenylation sites, or polyA sites, including more than 3000 sites that have previously not been identified. The detailed analysis of the 3'-ends of the nuclear mRNA revealed widespread alternative polyA site use (APA) in intestinally expressed genes. Importantly, we found that intestinal polyA sites that undergo APA tend to have U-rich and/or A-rich upstream auxiliary elements that may contribute to the regulation of 3'-end formation in the intestine.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/nar/gks282

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nucleic Acids Res

Publication Date

07/2012

Volume

40

Pages

6304 - 6318

Keywords

Animals, Caenorhabditis elegans, Cell Fractionation, Cell Nucleus, Flow Cytometry, Gene Expression Profiling, High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing, Intestines, Polyadenylation, Sequence Analysis, RNA, Transcriptome