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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2387; doi:10.3390/ijms18112387

The Dark Side of the Epitranscriptome: Chemical Modifications in Long Non-Coding RNAs

Faculty of Medicine, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2017 / Revised: 5 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 10 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Regulation by Non-Coding RNAs)
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Abstract

The broad application of next-generation sequencing technologies in conjunction with improved bioinformatics has helped to illuminate the complexity of the transcriptome, both in terms of quantity and variety. In humans, 70–90% of the genome is transcribed, but only ~2% carries the blueprint for proteins. Hence, there is a huge class of non-translated transcripts, called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), which have received much attention in the past decade. Several studies have shown that lncRNAs are involved in a plethora of cellular signaling pathways and actively regulate gene expression via a broad selection of molecular mechanisms. Only recently, sequencing-based, transcriptome-wide studies have characterized different types of post-transcriptional chemical modifications of RNAs. These modifications have been shown to affect the fate of RNA and further expand the variety of the transcriptome. However, our understanding of their biological function, especially in the context of lncRNAs, is still in its infancy. In this review, we will focus on three epitranscriptomic marks, namely pseudouridine (Ψ), N6-methyladenosine (m6A) and 5-methylcytosine (m5C). We will introduce writers, readers, and erasers of these modifications, and we will present methods for their detection. Finally, we will provide insights into the distribution and function of these chemical modifications in selected, cancer-related lncRNAs. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; epitranscriptomics; lncRNA; noncoding RNA; 5-methylcytosine; m5C; N6-methyladenosine; m6A; pseudouridine cancer; epitranscriptomics; lncRNA; noncoding RNA; 5-methylcytosine; m5C; N6-methyladenosine; m6A; pseudouridine
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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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Jacob, R.; Zander, S.; Gutschner, T. The Dark Side of the Epitranscriptome: Chemical Modifications in Long Non-Coding RNAs. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2387.

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