Understanding of non-coding RNAs grew by leaps and bounds in 2011, but the more that we learn; the more we get the feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at some of our favorite articles from the last year that highlights the variety of roles that non-coding RNA play.
Restoring miRNA Expression in Cancer
It’s well known that miRNAs are down-regulated in cancers, but this paper showed that a common antibiotic has the ability to de-repress those same miRNAs to fight cancer.
One miRNA gene = one miRNA? Nah, that would be too simple. Instead, just like their protein-coding counterparts, miRNA genes can give rise to multiple variants, or isomiRs.
July 15, 2011 IsomiRs, 3′ variants May Shine Light on miRNA Function
A Pain in the miRNA
Researchers found that miR-103 regulates certain pain channels, and may one day be the a key to chronic pain relief by acting on a particular calcium channel, Cav1.2-LTC, which is known to be involved with hypersensitivity to pain, and is made up of three protein subunits.
August 3, 2011 miR-103 Takes the Sting Out of Chronic Pain
Immunity for X-linked miRNAs
New research finds that X-linked miRNAs leads to a distinct advantage for women when it comes to immunity from disease.
September 28, 2011 X-linked miRNAs Give Fairer Sex Unfair Immune Advantage
Stressing miRNA 34 Expression
This study suggests that a particular miRNA, miR-34 was strongly upregulated by stress in mice, and may one day aid in coping with it.
October 12, 2011 Melt Away the Stress with miR-34
Evidence from this article proves the existence of lncRNAs in human mitochondria and ,suggests that lncRNAs could have a functional role in regulating gene expression there.
November 20, 2011 Human Mitochondria Have Long Noncoding RNAs Too