Scientists characterize large numbers of independently expressed, non-protein-coding RNA genes in the introns of protein-coding genes
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have performed a comprehensive analysis of small, non-protein-coding RNAs in the model nematode, C. elegans. They characterize 100 heretofore-undescribed transcripts, including two novel classes; they provide insights into the genomic structure and transcriptional regulation of non-coding RNAs; and they underscore the importance of non-coding RNAs in nematode development. Their work appears this month in the journal Genome Research.
"The significance of non-protein-coding RNAs as central components of various cellular processes has risen sharply over the recent years," explains Prof. Runsheng Chen, principal investigator on the study. Excluding microRNAs (miRNAs), or small transcripts that have recently received widespread attention and are known to play important roles in transcriptional regulation, small non-coding RNAs (or ncRNAs) in C. elegans have not been extensively investigated – until now.
Maria Smit | EurekAlert!
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