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Physiol Rev. 2016 Oct;96(4):1297-325. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00041.2015.

Non-coding RNAs in Development and Disease: Background, Mechanisms, and Therapeutic Approaches.

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Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany; and National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


Advances in RNA-sequencing techniques have led to the discovery of thousands of non-coding transcripts with unknown function. There are several types of non-coding linear RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNA) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA), as well as circular RNAs (circRNA) consisting of a closed continuous loop. This review guides the reader through important aspects of non-coding RNA biology. This includes their biogenesis, mode of actions, physiological function, as well as their role in the disease context (such as in cancer or the cardiovascular system). We specifically focus on non-coding RNAs as potential therapeutic targets and diagnostic biomarkers.

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