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Bidirectional Gene Pairs in the Human Genome

  1. Kanako O Koyanagi1,
  2. Tadashi Imanishi2,
  3. Takashi Gojobori3

Published Online: 8 DEC 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020776.pub2

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Koyanagi, K. O., Imanishi, T. and Gojobori, T. 2013. Bidirectional Gene Pairs in the Human Genome. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

  2. 2

    Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Japan

  3. 3

    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 DEC 2013

Abstract

Bidirectional gene pairs, also called head-to-head gene pairs, are defined as two genes on different strands with adjacent 5′-ends. They are transcribed divergently in a variety of coordinated fashion. The region between a bidirectional gene pair is designated as a putative bidirectional promoter, which is suggested to coordinately regulate the expression of the pair. The closely located bidirectional gene pairs and their bidirectional promoters were recently found to be enriched in the human genome. Despite substantial interests in these gene pairs and their expression regulation through bidirectional promoters, their biological significance is not well understood. Furthermore, it is of particular interest to know when and how the bidirectional gene arrangement evolved. Here the current understanding of these pairs is reviewed: bidirectional gene pairs may have great biological significance, and the bidirectional gene arrangement has evolved during the evolution of vertebrates leading to mammals by relocation of existing genes.

Key Concepts:

  • Closely located bidirectional gene pairs are enriched in the human genome.

  • Bidirectional gene pairs show correlated expression pattern.

  • Bidirectional gene pairs tend to have basic function in cells such as DNA repair.

  • Bidirectional promoters lack TATA boxes and are enriched in CpG islands.

  • Specific transcription factors are overrepresented in bidirectional promoters.

  • Bidirectional genes pairs tend to transcribe actively.

  • Bidirectional gene arrangement has evolved during the evolution of vertebrates leading to mammals by relocation of existing genes.

  • Detailed mechanisms of bidirectional transcription and the evolutionary forces that shaped the bidirectional arrangement in the human genome remain to be elucidated.

Keywords:

  • genome organisation;
  • coexpression;
  • promoter;
  • neighbouring gene pair;
  • genome evolution