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Bioinformatics Tools and Novel Challenges in Long Non-Coding RNAs (lncRNAs) Functional Analysis

Author(s): Letizia Da Sacco | Antonella Baldassarre | Andrea Masotti

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 13;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 97;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: non-coding RNAs | lncRNAs | genomics | bioinformatics | systems biology

The advent of next generation sequencing revealed that a fraction of transcribed RNAs (short and long RNAs) is non-coding. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have a crucial role in regulating gene expression and in epigenetics (chromatin and histones remodeling). LncRNAs may have different roles: gene activators (signaling), repressors (decoy), cis and trans gene expression regulators (guides) and chromatin modificators (scaffolds) without the need to be mutually exclusive. LncRNAs are also implicated in a number of diseases. The huge amount of inhomogeneous data produced so far poses several bioinformatics challenges spanning from the simple annotation to the more complex functional annotation. In this review, we report and discuss several bioinformatics resources freely available and dealing with the study of lncRNAs. To our knowledge, this is the first review summarizing all the available bioinformatics resources on lncRNAs appeared in the literature after the completion of the human genome project. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a little guide for biologists and bioinformaticians looking for dedicated resources, public repositories and other tools for lncRNAs functional analysis.
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