Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are functional RNA molecules that are transcribed from mammalian genome but lack protein coding capacity. Nearly 80% of the human genome constitutes non-coding elements such as small non-coding RNAs, sncRNAs (miRNA, piRNA, SiRNA, SnRNA) and long non-coding RNAs, lncRNAs (linc RNA, NAT, eRNA, circ RNA, ceRNAs, PROMPTS). These ncRNAs have been extensively studied and are known to mediate the regulation of gene expression. In recent decades, lncRNAs have emerged as pivotal molecules that participate in the post-transcriptional regulation by acting as a signal, guide, scaffold and decoy molecules in addition to their role(s) in transcription. ncRNAs are known to play critical roles in defining DNA methylation patterns, imprinting as well as chromatin remodeling, thus having a substantial effect in epigenetic signaling. The expression of lncRNAs is regulated in a tissue specific and developmental stage specific manner and their mis-regulation is often associated with tumorigenesis. Henceforth, this chapter focuses mainly on the role(s) of ncRNAs in transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation and their relevance in cancers.
Part of the book: Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Regulation