Comprehensive Polyadenylation Site Maps in Yeast and Human Reveal Pervasive Alternative Polyadenylation

Fatih Ozsolak, Philipp Kapranov, Sylvain Foissac, Sang Woo Kim, Elane Fishilevich, A. Paula Monaghan, Bino John, and Patrice M. Milos


The emerging discoveries on the link between polyadenylation and disease states underline the need to fully characterize genome-wide polyadenylation states. Here, we report comprehensive maps of global polyadenylation events in human and yeast generated using refinements to the Direct RNA Sequencing technology. This direct approach provides a quantitative view of genome-wide polyadenylation states in a strand-specific manner and requires only attomole RNA quantities. The polyadenylation profiles revealed an abundance of unannotated polyadenylation sites, alternative polyadenylation patterns, and regulatory element-associated poly(A)+ RNAs. We observed differences in sequence composition surrounding canonical and noncanonical human polyadenylation sites, suggesting novel noncoding RNA-specific polyadenylation mechanisms in humans. Furthermore, we observed the correlation level between sense and antisense transcripts to depend on gene expression levels, supporting the view that overlapping transcription from opposite strands may play a regulatory role. Our data provide a comprehensive view of the polyadenylation state and overlapping transcription.