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Intergenic lncRNAs and the evolution of gene expression.

Authors
  • Marques, Ana C1
  • Ponting, Chris P2
  • 1 MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, OX1 3QX, UK; University of Oxford, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, South Parks Road, OX1 3QX, UK. Electronic address: [email protected]
  • 2 MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, OX1 3QX, UK; University of Oxford, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, South Parks Road, OX1 3QX, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Current opinion in genetics & development
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2014
Volume
27
Pages
48–53
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.gde.2014.03.009
PMID: 24852186
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Eukaryote genomes encode a surprisingly large number of noncoding transcripts. Around two-thirds of human transcribed loci do not encode protein, and many are intergenic and produce long (>200 nucleotides) noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Extensive analyses using comparative genomics and transcriptomics approaches have established that lncRNA sequence and transcription tend to turn over rapidly during evolution. Our appreciation of the biological roles of lncRNAs, based only on a handful of transcripts with well-characterized functions, is that lncRNAs have diverse roles in regulating gene expression. These proposed roles together with their rapid rates of evolution suggest that lncRNAs could contribute to the divergent expression patterns observed among species and potentially to the origin of new traits.

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