The genetic signatures of noncoding RNAs

Mattick, J. S (2009) The genetic signatures of noncoding RNAs. PLoS Genetics, 5 4: e1000459-x. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000459


Author Mattick, J. S
Title The genetic signatures of noncoding RNAs
Journal name PLoS Genetics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1553-7390
Publication date 2009-04
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000459
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 4
Start page e1000459
End page x
Total pages 11
Editor Gregory S. Barsh
Place of publication San Francisco, C.A., U.S.A.
Publisher Public Library of Science
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
060407 Genome Structure and Regulation
Abstract The majority of the genome in animals and plants is transcribed in a developmentally regulated manner to produce large numbers of non–protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), whose incidence increases with developmental complexity. There is growing evidence that these transcripts are functional, particularly in the regulation of epigenetic processes, leading to the suggestion that they compose a hitherto hidden layer of genomic programming in humans and other complex organisms. However, to date, very few have been identified in genetic screens. Here I show that this is explicable by an historic emphasis, both phenotypically and technically, on mutations in protein-coding sequences, and by presumptions about the nature of regulatory mutations. Most variations in regulatory sequences produce relatively subtle phenotypic changes, in contrast to mutations in protein-coding sequences that frequently cause catastrophic component failure. Until recently, most mapping projects have focused on protein-coding sequences, and the limited number of identified regulatory mutations have been interpreted as affecting conventional cis-acting promoter and enhancer elements, although these regions are often themselves transcribed. Moreover, ncRNA-directed regulatory circuits underpin most, if not all, complex genetic phenomena in eukaryotes, including RNA interference-related processes such as transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene silencing, position effect variegation, hybrid dysgenesis, chromosome dosage compensation, parental imprinting and allelic exclusion, paramutation, and possibly transvection and transinduction. The next frontier is the identification and functional characterization of the myriad sequence variations that influence quantitative traits, disease susceptibility, and other complex characteristics, which are being shown by genome-wide association studies to lie mostly in noncoding, presumably regulatory, regions. There is every possibility that many of these variations will alter the interactions between regulatory RNAs and their targets, a prospect that should be borne in mind in future functional analyses.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
Institute for Molecular Bioscience - Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 15 Feb 2010, 15:35:08 EST by Susan Allen on behalf of Institute for Molecular Bioscience