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Cell. 2007 Feb 23;128(4):763-76.

Noncoding RNAs and gene silencing.

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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA.


Noncoding RNA has long been proposed to control gene expression via sequence-specific interactions with regulatory regions. Here, we review the role of noncoding RNA in heterochromatic silencing and in the silencing of transposable elements (TEs), unpaired DNA in meiosis, and developmentally excised DNA. The role of cotranscriptional processing by RNA interference and by other mechanisms is discussed, as well as parallels with RNA silencing in imprinting, paramutation, polycomb silencing, and X inactivation. Interactions with regulatory sequences may well occur, but at the RNA rather than at the DNA level.

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