An atlas of human long non-coding RNAs with accurate 5′ ends

Journal: Nature

Published: 2017-03-01

DOI: 10.1038/nature21374

Affiliations: 27

Authors: 39

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Research Highlight

The hidden functions of RNA

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/Science Photo Library/Getty

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/Science Photo Library/Getty

Researchers have identified thousands of ‘non-coding’ RNA genes to compile an online atlas. Their data suggests what the functions of these genes might be and provides a useful resource for further studies.

Piero Carninci and Alistair Forrest, of RIKEN in Japan, and an international team of colleagues identified 27,919 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) — formed of more than 200 nucleotides — by compiling analyses from published data. Non-coding RNAs, which form 98 per cent of all RNAs, do not code for proteins and their functions are still being discovered.

The team found that more nucleic acid sequences in lncRNAs have been conserved across species than previously thought; meaning they have not changed through evolution. They also found that different lncRNAs were specifically expressed in certain types of cells, which could help explain their functions. For example, lncRNAs specifically expressed in stem cells could play a role in maintaining their pluripotency.

The researchers anticipate their database will be a useful resource for prioritizing which lncRNAs should be further studied for more detailed understanding of their functions.

Supported content

  1. Nature 543, 199–204 (2017). doi: 10.1038/nature21374
Institutions FC
RIKEN Division of Genomic Technologies, CLST, Japan 0.31
RIKEN Omics Science Center (OSC), Japan 0.22
Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences (INMS), Massey University, New Zealand 0.05
Department of Computer Science, UoB, United Kingdom (UK) 0.04
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (HPIMR), Australia 0.03
RIKEN Preventive Medicine and Diagnosis Innovation Program (PMI), Japan 0.03
Biotechnology Research Institute for Drug Discovery (BRD), AIST, Japan 0.03
RIKEN Division of Bio-Function Dynamics Imaging, CLST, Japan 0.03
KAUST Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC), Saudi Arabia 0.03
Charité Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Germany 0.03
The University of Western Australia (UWA), Australia 0.01
Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Japan 0.01
RIKEN Cell Engineering Division, Japan 0.01
Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UniMelb, Australia 0.01
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), UQ, Australia 0.01
DZNE Site Tübingen, Germany 0.01
Vavilov Institute of General Genetics (VIGG), RAS, Russia 0.01
Telethon Kids Institute, Australia 0.01
Department of Neurology, WSU, United States of America (USA) 0.01
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, WSU, United States of America (USA) 0.01
Bioengineering Center, RAS, Russia 0.01
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Spain 0.01
Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), BIST, Spain 0.01
Duke-NUS Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders (CVMD), Singapore 0.01
NUS Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI), Singapore 0.01
NIH NLM National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), United States of America (USA) 0.01
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut), KI, Sweden 0.01

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