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Molecular Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Plants

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Author(s): Qian-Hao Zhu | Ming-Bo Wang

Journal: Genes
ISSN 2073-4425

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 176;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: long non-coding RNA | RNA-seq | natural miRNA target mimic | chromatin modifier

ABSTRACT
The past decade has seen dramatic changes in our understanding of the scale and complexity of eukaryotic transcriptome owing to the discovery of diverse types of short and long non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). While short ncRNA-mediated gene regulation has been extensively studied and the mechanisms well understood, the function of long ncRNAs remains largely unexplored, especially in plants. Nevertheless, functional insights generated in recent studies with mammalian systems have indicated that long ncRNAs are key regulators of a variety of biological processes. They have been shown to act as transcriptional regulators and competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs), to serve as molecular cargos for protein re-localization and as modular scaffolds to recruit the assembly of multiple protein complexes for chromatin modifications. Some of these functions have been found to be conserved in plants. Here, we review our current understanding of long ncRNA functions in plants and discuss the challenges in functional characterization of plant long ncRNAs.
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