The recent advent of high-throughput approaches has revealed widespread transcription of the human genome, leading to a new appreciation of transcription regulation, especially from noncoding regions. Distinct from most coding and small noncoding RNAs, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are generally expressed at low levels, are less conserved and lack protein-coding capacity. These intrinsic features of lncRNAs have not only hampered their full annotation in the past several years, but have also generated controversy concerning whether many or most of these lncRNAs are simply the result of transcriptional noise. Here, the authors assess these intrinsic features that have challenged lncRNA discovery and further summarize recent progress in lncRNA discovery with integrated methodologies, from which new lessons and insights can be derived to achieve better characterization of lncRNA expression regulation. Full annotation of lncRNA repertoires and the implications of such annotation will provide a fundamental basis for comprehensive understanding of pervasive functions of lncRNAs in biological regulation.
- Zhuemail S, Zhangemail X, Yang L. (2013) Panning for Long Noncoding RNAs. Biomolecules 3(1), 226-241. [article]