Focus on Noncoding RNAs



Focus on Noncoding RNAs

The noncoding explosion p1


The long-held view that the primary role of RNA is to code for proteins has been severely undermined. This Focus explores the remarkable functional diversity of RNA in light of recent breakthroughs in noncoding-RNA biology.



Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Roles for noncoding RNAs in cell-fate determination and regeneration pp2 - 4

Mo Li & Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte


Cellular fate is determined by transcriptional networks and epigenetic states. In addition to protein factors, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), particularly microRNAs and long ncRNAs, are able to remodel transcriptional circuits and reshape epigenetic landscapes. This Commentary highlights the emerging roles of these ncRNAs in cellular reprogramming, transdifferentiation and organ regeneration.

Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Discovery and annotation of long noncoding RNAs pp5 - 7

John S Mattick & John L Rinn


Recent advances in RNA-sequencing technologies have led to the discovery of thousands of previously unannotated noncoding transcripts, including many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) whose functions remain largely unknown. Here, the authors discuss considerations and best practices in lncRNA identification and annotation, which we hope will foster functional and mechanistic exploration.

Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Using synthetic RNAs as scaffolds and regulators pp8 - 10

Cameron Myhrvold & Pamela A Silver


The natural versatility of RNA makes it an ideal substrate for bioengineering. Its structural properties and predictable base-pairing permit its use as molecular scaffold, and its ability to interact with nucleic acids, proteins and small molecules confers a regulatory potential that can be harvested to design RNA regulators in diverse contexts.



Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Noncoding RNAs in eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis and function pp11 - 19

Denis L J Lafontaine


The ribosome is a complex molecular machine that is central to protein synthesis. This Review highlights the various roles of noncoding RNAs during the different steps of ribosome biogenesis and discusses the consequences for ribosome function.

Focus on Noncoding RNAs

From guide to target: molecular insights into eukaryotic RNA-interference machinery pp20 - 28

Jonathan J Ipsaro & Leemor Joshua-Tor


RNA interference (RNAi) is a process by which small noncoding RNAs direct molecular machinery to silence gene expression. In this Review, Ipsaro and Joshua-Tor discuss the mechanisms and structures that govern RNAi in higher organisms.



Focus on Noncoding RNAs

Technologies to probe functions and mechanisms of long noncoding RNAs pp29 - 35

Ci Chu, Robert C Spitale & Howard Y Chang


In this Perspective, Spitale, Chang and Chu discuss recent technological advances that will aid in the functional characterization of long noncoding RNAs, which up to now has posed a substantial challenge.


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