In recent years, studies exploring the modulation of gene transcription by non-coding RNAs have definitely been on the rise. This book, Non-Coding RNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression, written by a selection of highly regarded scientists, and edited by Kevin Morris, represents an overview and summary of this important new field to date. It’s thirteen chapters focus on the concept that RNA can control epigenetic states; an idea that challenges our “understanding of the basic fabric of the cell and may have therapeutic potential.”
The volume is arranged into three sections: Non-coding RNAs: Form, Function and Diversity; Non-coding RNAs: Gene Regulation and Epigenetics; and Non-coding RNAs: Disease and Therapeutics, and is designed to be an essential tool for those working in the always evolving fields of epigenetics, gene expression regulation and RNA research. Here are just a few samples from the many interesting chapters found in Non-Coding RNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression:
Genome-wide Analysis of Sense-Antisense Transcripts
Chihiro Kohama and Hidenori Kiyosawa
Genomic DNA and full-length cDNA sequencing efforts have uncovered fundamental data that has inspired novel idea that antisense transcription is universal within many organisms, including mammals and plants. Multiple expression studies using microarrays, genome-tiling arrays, and next-gen RNA sequencing have backed up this concept. This chapter introduces examples of the known functions of antisense transcripts, and reveals that there is an extremely wide variety of ways that antisense transcripts function in cells various to regulate gene expression.
Non-coding RNAs, Epigenomics and Complexity in Human Cells
Fabricio C. Costa
New technologies have enabled the identification and study of different types of non-coding RNAs (i.e. RNA transcripts that have no apparent protein product) These ncRNA molecules have been segmented into classes like microRNAs, small RNAs and long RNAs (lncRNAs) based on their size and function. LncRNAs have been strongly linked to epigenetic mechanisms in different cell types., and are considered an essential part of the human epigenome. This chapter covers examples of lncRNAs in action as well as a historical review on the influence of lncRNAs in epigenetic mechanisms, disease and evolution.
Long Non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and Cancer
Jessica M. Silva and David I. Smith
There is a continually growing list of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are associated with diseases. Aberrantly expressed lncRNAs have been found various diseases including psoriasis, mental disorders, autism, and cancer. Despite finding more and more cancer-associated lncRNAs, very little is known about their precise function; but what is known suggests that they work in several different ways within cells that leads to cancer development and progression. This chapters looks at what is known about the role of lncRNAs in cancer.
This text is a great follow up to previous works that have established our understanding of RNAs and gene expression mechanisms. As an exploration of the state-of-the-art in non-coding RNA research, as well as to look forward towards advances that may emerge from future studies, it’s a must read for anyone contemplating the world of ncRNAs and epigenetics.
You can find Non-Coding RNAs and Epigenetic Regulation of Gene Expression available on the Horizon Press website.