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LncRNAs Signaling Pathways  The unsuspected functions of Long Non Coding RNA

Long Non Coding RNA (LncRNAs) are RNAs that do not encode proteins and are constituted with more than 200 nucleotides. A large majority of the genome, about 98%, is considered noncoding. However, the ENCODE project states that 80% of the genome has a function. (1,2).

LncRNAs Signaling Pathways  Long Non Coding RNA functions

LncRNAs have no function as messenger RNA to be translated into proteins, but they are involved in many cellular mechanisms. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
  • Gene regulation (activation and repression of transcription).
  • Chromatin structure regulation.
  • Post-transcriptomic regulation.
  • Regulation of signaling pathways (2).

  • Long Non Coding RNA

    lncRNAs in Cancer Phenotypes Long Noncoding RNAs in Cancer Pathways. Cancer Cell. 2016

    In 2015, Iyer MK, et al. (3) classified nearly 58000 lncRNA whose role is little known. However, the same team demonstrates that lncRNAs are regulators of the physiology of certain tissues and that they are involved in many pathologies such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases or autoimmune diseases. Their numerous roles and their ubiquity in the human body make them very efficient biomarkers.
    In 2016, Schmitt AM and Chang HY (4) identified 499 lncRNAs as playing a key role in cell growth. In addition, 89% of those who had a role for a given cell type had no functional role in another cell type.
    (1) The ENCODE Project Consortium. An integrated encyclopedia of DNA elements in the human genome.Nature. (2012);489(7414):57-74..
    (2) Frith MC, et al. Discrimination of non-protein-coding transcripts from protein-coding mRNA. RNA Biol. (2006);3(1):40-8.
    (3) Iyer MK, et al. The landscape of long noncoding RNAs in the human transcriptome. Nat Genet. (2015);47(3):199-208.
    (4) Schmitt AM, Chang HY. Long Noncoding RNAs in Cancer Pathways. Cancer Cell. (2016);29(4):452-463.
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