Everything old is new again: (linc)RNAs make proteins!

Conventional protein-coding genes account for only a fraction of the RNA transcribed in animal genomes. Many of us grew up More »

Some long non-coding RNAs are conventional after all

from ScienceDaily Not so long ago researchers thought that RNAs came in two types: coding RNAs that make proteins and More »

The Circulating Long Non-Coding RNA LIPCAR Predicts Survival in Heart Failure Patients

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent a novel class of molecules regulating gene expression. LncRNAs are present in body fluids, but More »

Featured long non-coding RNA – PCAT-1

Impairment of double-stranded DNA break (DSB) repair is essential to many cancers. However, although mutations in DSB repair proteins are More »

Featured long non-coding RNA: CARLo-5

The mechanism by which the 8q24 MYC enhancer region, including cancer-associated variant rs6983267, increases cancer risk is unknown due to More »


Review Paper

Everything old is new again: (linc)RNAs make proteins!


Conventional protein-coding genes account for only a fraction of the RNA transcribed in animal genomes. Many of us grew up thinking that RNAs came in two flavours: those with protein-coding capacity and non-coding RNAs with structural roles, in the form of ribosomal RNAs, tRNAs, snoRNAs, etc. Interest in other forms of long non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) has been growing over the past decade, building in part on the fact that many lincRNAs are the precursors for micro-RNA biogenesis. In some cases, the miRNA is the only known product of a primary transcript that can be tens of Kb in length. But there is much more to lincRNAs: functions include X inactivation and other forms of chromatin modification (Gupta et al, 2010; Tian et al, 2010), enhancer-like functions regulating transcription (Orom et al, 2010) and regulation of post-transcriptional gene expression by functioning as micro-RNA sponges (Hansen et al, 2013; Memczak et al, 2013). Recent papers from the Couso, Schier and Giraldez/Rajewsky laboratories now bring us full circle, assigning a protein-coding function to lincRNAs  (Magny et al, 2013; Pauli et al, 2014), (Bazzini et al, 2014).

  • Cohen SM. (2014) Everything old is new again: (linc)RNAs make proteins! EMBO J [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

Regulation of metabolism by long, non-coding RNAs

Our understanding of genomic regulation was revolutionized by the discovery that the genome is pervasively transcribed, giving rise to thousands of mostly uncharacterized non-coding ribonucleic acids (ncRNAs). Long, ncRNAs (lncRNAs) have thus emerged as a novel class of functional RNAs that impinge on gene regulation by a broad spectrum of mechanisms such as the recruitment of epigenetic modifier proteins, control of mRNA decay and DNA sequestration of transcription factors. The authors review those lncRNAs that are implicated in differentiation and homeostasis of metabolic tissues and present novel concepts on how lncRNAs might act on energy and glucose homeostasis. Finally, the control of circadian rhythm by lncRNAs is an emerging principles of lncRNA-mediated gene regulation.

  • Kornfeld JW, Brüning JC. (2014) Regulation of metabolism by long, non-coding RNAs. Frontiers in Genetics [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

Incoming search terms:

  • cardiac lncrna
  • modular regulatory principles of lncrnas

Missing links in cardiology: long non-coding RNAs enter the arena

Heart failure as a consequence of ischemic, hypertensive, infectious, or hereditary heart disease is a major challenge in cardiology and topic of intense research. Recently, new players appeared in this field and promise deeper insights into cardiac development, function, and disease. Long non-coding RNAs are a novel class of transcripts that can regulate gene expression and may have many more functions inside the cell. Here, the authors present examples on long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) function in cardiac development and give suggestions on how lncRNAs may be involved in cardiomyocyte dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, and inflammation, three hallmarks of the failing heart. Additionally, they point out opportunities as well as challenges that should be considered in the endeavor to investigate cardiac lncRNAs.


  • Peters T, Schroen B. (2014) Missing links in cardiology: long non-coding RNAs enter the arena. Pflugers Arch [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

Incoming search terms:

  • lncrnas 2014
  • lncRNA roles review

The four dimensions of noncoding RNA conservation

Evolutionary conservation is widely used as an indicator of the functional significance of newly discovered genes. Although the simple search for homology at the nucleotide or amino acid sequence level has proven to be valuable for protein-coding genes, these criteria are too narrow to describe fully the selection process for long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). LncRNA conservation includes four dimensions: the sequence, structure, function, and expression from syntenic loci. Two recently described knockout mouse models for the lincRNAs metastasis associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (Malat1) and HOX antisense intergenic RNA (Hotair) highlight the multifaceted levels of conservation.


  • Diederichs S. (2014) The four dimensions of noncoding RNA conservation. Trends Genet  [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

Incoming search terms:

  • hot air cold air RNA GENETIC
  • lincRNA-P21 down regulated
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  • NONCODE 4 0
  • The Long Noncoding RNA MALAT1 Regulates Endothelial Cell Function and Vessel Growth

Non-coding RNA interact to regulate neuronal development and function

The human brain is one of the most complex biological systems, and the cognitive abilities have greatly expanded compared to invertebrates without much expansion in the number of protein coding genes. This suggests that gene regulation plays a very important role in the development and function of nervous system, by acting at multiple levels such as transcription and translation. In this article the authors discuss the regulatory roles of three classes of non-protein coding RNAs (ncRNAs)-microRNAs (miRNAs), piwi-interacting RNA (piRNAs) and long-non-coding RNA (lncRNA), in the process of neurogenesis and nervous function including control of synaptic plasticity and potential roles in neurodegenerative diseases.

miRNAs are involved in diverse processes including neurogenesis where they channelize the cellular physiology toward neuronal differentiation. miRNAs can also indirectly influence neurogenesis by regulating the proliferation and self renewal of neural stem cells and are dysregulated in several neurodegenerative diseases. miRNAs are also known to regulate synaptic plasticity and are usually found to be co-expressed with their targets. The dynamics of gene regulation is thus dependent on the local architecture of the gene regulatory network (GRN) around the miRNA and its targets. piRNAs had been classically known to regulate transposons in the germ cells. However, piRNAs have been, recently, found to be expressed in the brain and possibly function by imparting epigenetic changes by DNA methylation. piRNAs are known to be maternally inherited and we assume that they may play a role in early development. The authors also explore the possible function of piRNAs in regulating the expansion of transposons in the brain. Brain is known to express several lncRNA but functional roles in brain development are attributed to a few lncRNA while functions of most of the them remain unknown. They review the roles of some known lncRNA and explore the other possible functions of lncRNAs including their interaction with miRNAs.


  • Iyengar BR, Choudhary A, Sarangdhar MA, Venkatesh KV, Gadgil CJ, Pillai B. (2014) Non-coding RNA interact to regulate neuronal development and function. Front Cell Neurosci 8:47. [article]

Incoming search terms:

  • lncRNA nuclear function position
  • microrna review 2014 neural stem cell
  • miRNa LNCrna