Nature Reviews Genetics 10, 155-159 (March 2009) | doi:10.1038/nrg2521

Long non-coding RNAs: insights into functions

Tim R. Mercer1,2, Marcel E. Dinger1,2 & John S. Mattick1  About the authors


In mammals and other eukaryotes most of the genome is transcribed in a developmentally regulated manner to produce large numbers of long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). Here we review the rapidly advancing field of long ncRNAs, describing their conservation, their organization in the genome and their roles in gene regulation. We also consider the medical implications, and the emerging recognition that any transcript, regardless of coding potential, can have an intrinsic function as an RNA.

Author affiliations

  1. Tim R. Mercer, Marcel E. Dinger and John S. Mattick are at the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
  2. T.R.M. and M.E.D. contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: John S. Mattick1 Email:


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