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PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21652. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021652. Epub 2011 Jul 18.

Identification and analysis of intermediate size noncoding RNAs in the human fetal brain.

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  • 1Bioinformatics Laboratory and National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


The involvement of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) in the development of the human brain remains largely unknown. Applying a cloning strategy for detection of intermediate size (50-500 nt) ncRNAs (is-ncRNAs) we have identified 82 novel transcripts in human fetal brain tissue. Most of the novel is-ncRNAs are not well conserved in vertebrates, and several transcripts were only found in primates. Northern blot and microarray analysis indicated considerable variation in expression across human fetal brain development stages and fetal tissues for both novel and known is-ncRNAs. Expression of several of the novel is-ncRNAs was conspicuously absent in one or two brain cancer cell lines, and transient overexpression of some transcripts in cancer cells significantly inhibited cell proliferation. Overall, our results suggest that is-ncRNAs play important roles in the development and tumorigenesis of human brain.

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