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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Nov;69(21):3613-34. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-0990-9. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Regulation of eukaryotic gene expression by the untranslated gene regions and other non-coding elements.

Author information

1
Centre for Neuromuscular and Neurological Disorders (CNND), The University of Western Australia (M518), 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia. Barrel02@student.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

There is now compelling evidence that the complexity of higher organisms correlates with the relative amount of non-coding RNA rather than the number of protein-coding genes. Previously dismissed as "junk DNA", it is the non-coding regions of the genome that are responsible for regulation, facilitating complex temporal and spatial gene expression through the combinatorial effect of numerous mechanisms and interactions working together to fine-tune gene expression. The major regions involved in regulation of a particular gene are the 5' and 3' untranslated regions and introns. In addition, pervasive transcription of complex genomes produces a variety of non-coding transcripts that interact with these regions and contribute to regulation. This review discusses recent insights into the regulatory roles of the untranslated gene regions and non-coding RNAs in the control of complex gene expression, as well as the implications of this in terms of organism complexity and evolution.

PMID:
22538991
PMCID:
PMC3474909
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-012-0990-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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