Cells are highly organized structures. In addition to membrane delimited organelles, proteins and RNAs can organize themselves into specific domains. Some examples include stress granules and subnuclear bodies. This level of organization is essential for the correct execution of multiple processes in the cell, ranging from cell signaling to assembly of structures such as the ribosomes. Here the authors review evidence that noncoding RNAs play a critical role in the establishment and regulation of these domains. The unique abilities of RNA to mark the genome in a gene-specific and condition-specific manner and to serve as tethers nominate them as ideal molecular address codes.
Batista PJ, Chang HY. (2013) Cytotopic localization by long noncoding RNAs. Curr Opin Cell Biol 25(2), 195-9. [abstract]