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Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Jul;13(7):329-34. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.02.009. Epub 2008 Apr 28.

Diamonds in the rough: mRNA-like non-coding RNAs.

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Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware, 15 Innovation Way, Newark, DE 19711, USA.


Non-coding RNAs are increasingly being identified as crucial regulators of gene expression and other cellular functions in plants. Experimental and computational methods have revealed the existence of mRNA-like non-coding RNAs (mlncRNAs), a class of non-coding RNAs that, in plants, are associated with tissue-specific expression, development and the phosphate-starvation response. Although their mechanisms of action are largely unknown, one can speculate that mlncRNAs act through secondary structures or specific sequences that bind to proteins or metabolites, or that have catalytic activity. This review summarizes the computational methods developed to identify candidate mlncRNAs, and the current experimental evidence regarding the function of several known mlncRNAs.

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