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Nat Rev Genet. 2014 Jan;15(1):7-21. doi: 10.1038/nrg3606. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

Long non-coding RNAs: new players in cell differentiation and development.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin", Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.
2
1] Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Charles Darwin", Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy. [2] Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology of the National Research Council, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy. [3] Istituto Pasteur Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy. [4] Center for Life Nano Science @Sapienza, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 291, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Genomes of multicellular organisms are characterized by the pervasive expression of different types of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) belong to a novel heterogeneous class of ncRNAs that includes thousands of different species. lncRNAs have crucial roles in gene expression control during both developmental and differentiation processes, and the number of lncRNA species increases in genomes of developmentally complex organisms, which highlights the importance of RNA-based levels of control in the evolution of multicellular organisms. In this Review, we describe the function of lncRNAs in developmental processes, such as in dosage compensation, genomic imprinting, cell differentiation and organogenesis, with a particular emphasis on mammalian development.

PMID:
24296535
DOI:
10.1038/nrg3606
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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