Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that maintains the ends of linear chromosomes in most eukaryotes. Loss of telomerase activity results in shortening of telomeric DNA and eventually a specific G2/M cell-cycle arrest known as senescence. In humans, telomere shortening occurs during aging, while inappropriate activation of telomerase is associated with approximately 90% of cancers. Previous studies have identified several classes of noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) also associated with aging-related senescence and cancer, but whether ncRNAs are also involved in short-telomere-induced senescence in yeast is unknown. Here, we report 112 putative novel lncRNAs in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 41 of which are only expressed in telomerase-negative yeast. Expression of approximately half of the lncRNAs is strongly correlated with that of adjacent genes, suggesting this subset may influence transcription of neighboring genes. Our results reveal a new potential mechanism governing adaptive changes in senescing and post-senescent survivor yeast cells.
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