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      Coding or Noncoding, the Converging Concepts of RNAs

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Technological advances over the past decade have unraveled the remarkable complexity of RNA. The identification of small peptides encoded by long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) as well as regulatory functions mediated by non-coding regions of mRNAs have further complicated our understanding of the multifaceted functions of RNA. In this review, we summarize current evidence pointing to dual roles of RNA molecules defined by their coding and non-coding potentials. We also discuss how the emerging roles of RNA transform our understanding of gene expression and evolution.

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          Most cited references 137

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          An Integrated Encyclopedia of DNA Elements in the Human Genome

          Summary The human genome encodes the blueprint of life, but the function of the vast majority of its nearly three billion bases is unknown. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has systematically mapped regions of transcription, transcription factor association, chromatin structure, and histone modification. These data enabled us to assign biochemical functions for 80% of the genome, in particular outside of the well-studied protein-coding regions. Many discovered candidate regulatory elements are physically associated with one another and with expressed genes, providing new insights into the mechanisms of gene regulation. The newly identified elements also show a statistical correspondence to sequence variants linked to human disease, and can thereby guide interpretation of this variation. Overall the project provides new insights into the organization and regulation of our genes and genome, and an expansive resource of functional annotations for biomedical research.
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            The sequence of the human genome.

            A 2.91-billion base pair (bp) consensus sequence of the euchromatic portion of the human genome was generated by the whole-genome shotgun sequencing method. The 14.8-billion bp DNA sequence was generated over 9 months from 27,271,853 high-quality sequence reads (5.11-fold coverage of the genome) from both ends of plasmid clones made from the DNA of five individuals. Two assembly strategies-a whole-genome assembly and a regional chromosome assembly-were used, each combining sequence data from Celera and the publicly funded genome effort. The public data were shredded into 550-bp segments to create a 2.9-fold coverage of those genome regions that had been sequenced, without including biases inherent in the cloning and assembly procedure used by the publicly funded group. This brought the effective coverage in the assemblies to eightfold, reducing the number and size of gaps in the final assembly over what would be obtained with 5.11-fold coverage. The two assembly strategies yielded very similar results that largely agree with independent mapping data. The assemblies effectively cover the euchromatic regions of the human chromosomes. More than 90% of the genome is in scaffold assemblies of 100,000 bp or more, and 25% of the genome is in scaffolds of 10 million bp or larger. Analysis of the genome sequence revealed 26,588 protein-encoding transcripts for which there was strong corroborating evidence and an additional approximately 12,000 computationally derived genes with mouse matches or other weak supporting evidence. Although gene-dense clusters are obvious, almost half the genes are dispersed in low G+C sequence separated by large tracts of apparently noncoding sequence. Only 1.1% of the genome is spanned by exons, whereas 24% is in introns, with 75% of the genome being intergenic DNA. Duplications of segmental blocks, ranging in size up to chromosomal lengths, are abundant throughout the genome and reveal a complex evolutionary history. Comparative genomic analysis indicates vertebrate expansions of genes associated with neuronal function, with tissue-specific developmental regulation, and with the hemostasis and immune systems. DNA sequence comparisons between the consensus sequence and publicly funded genome data provided locations of 2.1 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A random pair of human haploid genomes differed at a rate of 1 bp per 1250 on average, but there was marked heterogeneity in the level of polymorphism across the genome. Less than 1% of all SNPs resulted in variation in proteins, but the task of determining which SNPs have functional consequences remains an open challenge.
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              Circular RNAs are a large class of animal RNAs with regulatory potency.

              Circular RNAs (circRNAs) in animals are an enigmatic class of RNA with unknown function. To explore circRNAs systematically, we sequenced and computationally analysed human, mouse and nematode RNA. We detected thousands of well-expressed, stable circRNAs, often showing tissue/developmental-stage-specific expression. Sequence analysis indicated important regulatory functions for circRNAs. We found that a human circRNA, antisense to the cerebellar degeneration-related protein 1 transcript (CDR1as), is densely bound by microRNA (miRNA) effector complexes and harbours 63 conserved binding sites for the ancient miRNA miR-7. Further analyses indicated that CDR1as functions to bind miR-7 in neuronal tissues. Human CDR1as expression in zebrafish impaired midbrain development, similar to knocking down miR-7, suggesting that CDR1as is a miRNA antagonist with a miRNA-binding capacity ten times higher than any other known transcript. Together, our data provide evidence that circRNAs form a large class of post-transcriptional regulators. Numerous circRNAs form by head-to-tail splicing of exons, suggesting previously unrecognized regulatory potential of coding sequences.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Genet
                Front Genet
                Front. Genet.
                Frontiers in Genetics
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-8021
                22 May 2019
                2019
                : 10
                Affiliations
                CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, The Innovative Academy of Seed Design, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Kunming, China
                Author notes

                Edited by: Philipp Kapranov, Huaqiao University, China

                Reviewed by: Florent Hubé, UMR7216 Epigénétique et Destin Cellulaire, France; Dieter August Wolf, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, United States

                *Correspondence: Changning Liu, liuchangning@ 123456xtbg.ac.cn

                This article was submitted to RNA, a section of the journal Frontiers in Genetics

                Article
                10.3389/fgene.2019.00496
                6538810
                Copyright © 2019 Li and Liu.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 137, Pages: 10, Words: 0
                Categories
                Genetics
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                Genetics

                micropeptide, ribosome profiling, coding potential, long noncoding rna, messenger rna

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