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Enhancer RNAs as molecular traps

Results from ENCODE released in 2007 suggested that 80% of the human genome plays a role in at least one RNA biochemical and/or chromatin modelling event; much higher than previously understood. More importantly, a significant portion of this active genome is transcribed into RNA, without any known corresponding functional protein. …


Epigenetics, Aging, and Neurodegeneration

Roy Lardenoije, Daniël van den Hove, and Bart Rutten Epigenetics is a booming, but highly complex and rapidly evolving field. Apart from the well-studied regulatory mechanisms involving DNA and histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, there are the more recent additions of RNA methylation and editing, and reports of epigenetic regulation …


The Brain’s Circular RNAs

Circular RNA (circRNA) has emerged as the latest large class of animal RNA. The circular structure creates a higher level of RNA stability, which has lead to the suspicion that circRNAs take on different functions than their linear counterparts. One pioneering example is the function as a miRNA sponge, where …


Chewing Over Salivary Diagnostics and the Epigenome

Michael Wren, Elizabeth Shirtcliff, Stacy Drury Over the last decade there has been substantial advances in salivary biomarker development and diagnostics. Unlike blood draws, saliva collection is noninvasive, inexpensive, and convenient for repeated sampling, making it especially useful for research in vulnerable populations, such as young children, the sick, and …


Long Non-Coding RNAs Epigenetically Modify Brain and Behavior

Once considered vestiges of our evolutionary history associated with junk DNA, non-coding RNAs have emerged as important regulators of epigenetic processes, transcriptional activation, and posttranscriptional gene silencing. Advances in RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) technology have resulted in the discovery of a large number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), with many expressed …


Genome-Wide DNA Methylome Analysis Reveals Epigenetically Dysregulated Non-coding RNAs in Human Breast Cancer

Yongsheng Li, Yunpeng Zhang, Shengli Li, Jianping Lu, Juan Chen, Yuan Wang, Yixue Li, Juan Xu, Xia Li The development of human cancer is mediated by both genetic and epigenetic alterations of the cell. Since the discovery of altered DNA methylation in human cancer, DNA methylation studies of cancer have …


Live long and prosper: Specialized ribosomes counteract ageing

Markus Schosserer and Johannes Grillari University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna Department of Biotechnology Muthgasse 18 1190 Vienna Austria johannes.grillari@boku.ac.at   A team of Austrian researchers discovered that the novel gene NSUN5, one of the few highly conserved genes modulating longevity, is able to influence the aging process …


microRNAs are important players at the intersection of stromal cell differentiation fate

Alessandra Rossini1, Viviana Meraviglia1, Gualtiero Colombo2 1 Center for Biomedicine, European Academy Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC) (affiliated Institute of the University of Lübeck), Bolzano Italy 2 Laboratory of Immunology and Functional Genomics, Centro Cardiologico Monzino IRCCS, Milano, Italy   In a previous work, we have characterized a randomly selected population of adult …