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RNA Biol. 2011 Nov-Dec;8(6):968-77. doi: 10.4161/rna.8.6.17606. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

RNA splicing control: yet another gene regulatory role for long nuclear noncoding RNAs.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.

Abstract

The mammalian genome harbors a large number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that do not code for proteins, but rather they exert their function directly as RNA molecules. LncRNAs are involved in executing several vital cellular functions. They facilitate the recruitment of proteins to specific chromatin sites, ultimately regulating processes like dosage compensation and genome imprinting. LncRNAs are also known to regulate nucleocytoplasmic transport of macromolecules. A large number of the regulatory lncRNAs are retained within the cell nucleus and constitute a subclass termed nuclear-retained RNAs (nrRNAs). NrRNAs are speculated to be involved in crucial gene regulatory networks, acting as structural scaffolds of subnuclear domains. NrRNAs modulate gene expression by influencing chromatin modification, transcription and post-transcriptional gene processing. The cancer-associated Metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript1 (MALAT1) is one such long nrRNA that regulates pre-mRNA processing in mammalian cells. Thus far, our understanding about the roles played by nrRNAs and their relevance in disease pathways is only 'a tip of an iceberg'. It will therefore be crucial to unravel the functions for the vast number of long nrRNAs, buried within the complex mine of the human genome.

PMID:
21941126
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3256421
Free PMC Article
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