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Prog Mol Subcell Biol. 2011;51:29-41. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-16502-3_2.

Long noncoding RNA as a regulator for transcription.

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  • 1Division of Gene Structure and Function, Research Center for Genomic Medicine, Saitama Medical University, 1397-1 Yamane, Hidaka-shi, Hidaka-shi, Saitama-Ken, 350-1241, Japan,


Investigation of noncoding RNAs is in rapid progress, especially regarding translational repression by small (short) noncoding RNAs like microRNAs with 20-25 nucleotide-lengths, while long noncoding RNAs with nucleotide length of more than two hundred are also emerging. Indeed, our analysis has revealed that a long noncoding RNA transcribed from cyclin D1 promoter of 200 and 300 nucleotides exerts transcriptional repression through its binding protein TLS instead of translational repression. Translational repression is executed by short noncoding RNAs, while transcriptional repression is mainly done by long noncoding RNAs. These long noncoding RNAs are heterogeneous molecules and employ divergent molecular mechanisms to exert transcriptional repression. In this review, I overview recent publications regarding the transcription regulation by long noncoding RNAs and explore their biological significance. In addition, the relation between a random transcriptional activity of RNA polymerase II and the origin of long noncoding RNAs is discussed.

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