Distinct patterns of genetic variations in potential functional elements in long noncoding RNAs

Non-protein coding RNAs have increasingly been shown to be an important class of regulatory RNAs having significant roles in regulation of gene expression. The long non-coding RNA gene family presently constitutes a large number of noncoding RNA loci almost equalling the number of protein-coding genes. Nevertheless the biological roles and mechanisms of majority of long noncoding RNAs are poorly understood, with exceptions of a very few well studied candidates. The availability of genome-scale variation datasets, and increasing number of variant loci from genome-wide association studies falling in lncRNA loci have motivated us to understand the patterns of genomic variations in lncRNA loci, their potential functional correlates and selection in populations.

In the present study, researchers from the GN Ramachandran Knowledge Center for Genome Informatics have performed a comprehensive analysis of genomic variations in lncRNA loci. They analysed for patterns and distributions of genomic variations with respect to potential functional domains in lncRNAs. Analysis reveals a distinct distribution of variations in sub-classes of long noncoding RNAs and in potential functional domains of lncRNAs. They further examined signals of selections and allele frequencies of these prioritised set of lncRNAs. To the best of our knowledge this is the first and comprehensive large-scale analysis of genetic variations in long noncoding RNAs.

  • Bhartiya D, Jalali S, Ghosh S, Scaria V. (2013) Distinct patterns of genetic variations in potential functional elements in long noncoding RNAs. Hum Mutat [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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