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Distinct polyadenylation landscapes of diverse human tissues revealed by a modified PA-seq strategy
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Polyadenylation is a key regulatory step in eukaryotic gene expression and one of the major contributors of transcriptome diversity. Aberrant polyadenylation often associates with expression defects and leads to human diseases.\\ To better understand global polyadenylation regulation, we have developed a polyadenylation sequencing (PA-seq) approach. By profiling polyadenylation events in 13 human tissues, we found that alternative cleavage and polyadenylation (APA) is prevalent in both protein-coding and noncoding genes. In addition, APA usage, similar to gene expression profiling, exhibits tissue-specific signatures and is sufficient for determining tissue origin. A 3' untranslated region shortening index (USI) was further developed for genes with tandem APA sites. Strikingly, the results showed that different tissues exhibit distinct patterns of shortening and/or lengthening of 3' untranslated regions, suggesting the intimate involvement of APA in establishing tissue or cell identity.\\ This study provides a comprehensive resource to uncover regulated polyadenylation events in human tissues and to characterize the underlying regulatory mechanism.