Natural antisense transcripts in fungi
Fungi are models for investigating many eukaryotic molecular processes. The identification of natural antisense transcripts (NATs) in fungi led to the discovery of mechanisms for controlling gene expression through transcriptional interference, chromatin remodelling and dsRNA formation. An overview of these mechanisms and the description of specific NAT functions is provided to give context for a broader discussion of fungal NATs. Transcriptome analyses have revealed a large number of NATs in a divergent group of fungi. The timing of NAT expression suggests roles in core life functions, such as responding to the environment and sexual reproduction. The transcriptome studies also uncover a large number of NATs whose functions remain elusive. These could provide novel control of gene expression, targeted responses to stimuli, or other functions. The goal of this review is provide background for this expanding field of research while highlighting opportunities for future discoveries. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.