Mammalian cells replicate their chromosomes via a temporal replication program. The ASAR6 and ASAR15 genes were identified as loci that when disrupted result in delayed replication and condensation of entire human chromosomes. ASAR6 and ASAR15 are monoallelically expressed long noncoding RNAs that remain associated with the chromosome from which they are transcribed. The chromosome-wide effects of ASAR6 map to the antisense strand of an L1 retrotransposon within ASAR6 RNA, deletion or inversion of which delayed replication of human chromosome 6. Furthermore, ectopic integration of ASAR6 or ASAR15 transgenes into mouse chromosomes resulted in delayed replication and condensation, an increase in H3K27me3, coating of the mouse chromosome with ASAR RNA, and a loss of mouse Cot-1 RNA expression in cis. Targeting the antisense strand of the L1 within ectopically expressed ASAR6 RNA restored normal replication timing. Our results provide direct evidence that L1 antisense RNA plays a functional role in chromosome-wide replication timing of mammalian chromosomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology