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Genetics. 2017 Oct;207(2):357-367. doi: 10.1534/genetics.117.300095.

Emerging Properties and Functional Consequences of Noncoding Transcription.

Author information

1
Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
2
Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, EH9 3BF, Scotland, UK.
3
Institute of Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, EH9 3BF, Scotland, UK.
4
Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark sebastian.marquardt@plen.ku.dk.

Abstract

Eukaryotic genomes are rich in transcription units encoding "long noncoding RNAs" (lncRNAs). The purpose of all this transcription is unclear since most lncRNAs are quickly targeted for destruction during synthesis or shortly thereafter. As debates continue over the functional significance of many specific lncRNAs, support grows for the notion that the act of transcription rather than the RNA product itself is functionally important in many cases. Indeed, this alternative mechanism might better explain how low-abundance lncRNAs transcribed from noncoding DNA function in organisms. Here, we highlight some of the recently emerging features that distinguish coding from noncoding transcription and discuss how these differences might have important implications for the functional consequences of noncoding transcription.

KEYWORDS:

RNA Polymerase II transcription; chromatin; gene regulation; long noncoding RNA (lncRNA); nascent transcription; noncoding transcription; transcription cycle; transcriptional interference

PMID:
28978770
PMCID:
PMC5629311
DOI:
10.1534/genetics.117.300095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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