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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012 Jun;24(3):333-40. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Small non-coding RNAs mount a silent revolution in gene expression.

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Institute of Biotechnology and Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


During the past decade, it has become evident that small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) participate in widespread and essential regulatory mechanisms in most eukaryotic cells. Novel classes of small RNAs, their biogenesis pathways and cellular effects are continuously being described, and new properties of already established ncRNAs are still being discovered. As the list of small RNA molecules and their roles becomes more and more extensive, one can get lost in the midst of new information. In this review, we attempt to bring order to the small ncRNA transcriptome by covering some of the major milestones of recent years. We go through many of the new properties that have been attributed to already familiar RNA molecules, and introduce some of the more recent novel classes of tiny ncRNAs.

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