Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been found to perform various functions in a wide variety of important biological processes. To make easier interpretation of lncRNA functionality and conduct deep mining on these transcribed sequences, it is convenient to classify lncRNAs into different groups. Here, researchers from the CAS Key Laboratory of Genome Sciences and Information, China summarize classification methods of lncRNAs according to their four major features, namely, genomic location and context, effect exerted on DNA sequences, mechanism of functioning and their targeting mechanism. In combination with the presently available function annotations, they explore potential relationships between different classification categories, and generalize and compare biological features of different lncRNAs within each category. Finally, they present our view on potential further studies. The researchers believe that the classifications of lncRNAs as indicated above are of fundamental importance for lncRNA studies, helpful for further investigation of specific lncRNAs, for formulation of new hypothesis based on different features of lncRNA and for exploration of the underlying lncRNA functional mechanisms.
Ma L, Bajic VB, Zhang Z. (2013) On the classification of long non-coding RNAs. RNA Biol 10(6). [article]