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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 702; doi:10.3390/ijms17050702

Understanding the Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs through Their Higher-Order Structures

Department of Food Biotechnology, College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin Pichler
Received: 15 March 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 4 May 2016 / Published: 17 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Abstract

Although thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been discovered in eukaryotes, very few molecular mechanisms have been characterized due to an insufficient understanding of lncRNA structure. Therefore, investigations of lncRNA structure and subsequent elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms are urgently needed. However, since lncRNA are high molecular weight molecules, which makes their crystallization difficult, obtaining information about their structure is extremely challenging, and the structures of only several lncRNAs have been determined so far. Here, we review the structure–function relationships of the widely studied lncRNAs found in the animal and plant kingdoms, focusing on the principles and applications of both in vitro and in vivo technologies for the study of RNA structures, including dimethyl sulfate-sequencing (DMS-seq), selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension-sequencing (SHAPE-seq), parallel analysis of RNA structure (PARS), and fragmentation sequencing (FragSeq). The aim of this review is to provide a better understanding of lncRNA biological functions by studying them at the structural level. View Full-Text
Keywords: long non-coding RNA; molecular mechanisms; structure; function; technologies long non-coding RNA; molecular mechanisms; structure; function; technologies
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, R.; Zhu, H.; Luo, Y. Understanding the Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs through Their Higher-Order Structures. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 702.

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