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Genes 2012, 3(1), 176-190; doi:10.3390/genes3010176

Molecular Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Plants

CSIRO Plant Industry, GPO Box 1600, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 28 February 2012 / Accepted: 29 February 2012 / Published: 8 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Junk DNA' is not Junk)
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The past decade has seen dramatic changes in our understanding of the scale and complexity of eukaryotic transcriptome owing to the discovery of diverse types of short and long non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). While short ncRNA-mediated gene regulation has been extensively studied and the mechanisms well understood, the function of long ncRNAs remains largely unexplored, especially in plants. Nevertheless, functional insights generated in recent studies with mammalian systems have indicated that long ncRNAs are key regulators of a variety of biological processes. They have been shown to act as transcriptional regulators and competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs), to serve as molecular cargos for protein re-localization and as modular scaffolds to recruit the assembly of multiple protein complexes for chromatin modifications. Some of these functions have been found to be conserved in plants. Here, we review our current understanding of long ncRNA functions in plants and discuss the challenges in functional characterization of plant long ncRNAs.
Keywords: long non-coding RNA; RNA-seq; natural miRNA target mimic; chromatin modifier long non-coding RNA; RNA-seq; natural miRNA target mimic; chromatin modifier
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Zhu, Q.-H.; Wang, M.-B. Molecular Functions of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Plants. Genes 2012, 3, 176-190.

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