TBI-Preprint 05-04-001

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Evolutionary patterns of non-coding RNAs

Athanasius F. Bompfünewerera, Christoph Flamm, Claudia Fried, Guido Fritzsch, Ivo L. Hofacker, Jörg Lehmann, Kristin Missal, Axel Mosig, Bettina Müller, Sonja J. Prohaska, Bärbel M.R. Stadler, Peter F. Stadler, Andrea Tanzer, Stefan Washietl and Christina Witwer

Appeared in:
Theor. Biosci., 123, 301-369 (2005)

A plethora of newfunctions of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been discovered in past fewyears. In fact, RNA is emerging as the central player in cellular regulation, taking on active roles in multiple regulatory layers from transcription, RNA maturation, and RNA modification to translational regulation. Nevertheless, very little is known about the evolution of this "Modern RNA World" and its components. In this contribution, we attempt to provide at least a cursory overviewof the diversity of ncRNAs and functional RNA motifs in non-translated regions of regular messenger RNAs (mRNAs) with an emphasis on evolutionary questions. This survey is complemented by an in-depth analysis of examples from different classes of RNAs focusing mostly on their evolution in the vertebrate lineage. We present a survey of Y RNA genes in vertebrates and study the molecular evolution of the U7 snRNA, the snoRNAs E1/U17, E2, and E3, the Y RNA family, the let-7 microRNA (miRNA) family, and the mRNA-like evf-1 gene. We furthermore discuss the statistical distribution of miRNAs in metazoans, which suggests an explosive increase in the miRNA repertoire in vertebrates. The analysis of the transcription of ncRNAs suggests that small RNAs in general are genetically mobile in the sense that their association with a hostgene (e.g. when transcribed from introns of a mRNA) can change on evolutionary time scales. The let-7 family demonstrates, that even the mode of transcription (as intron or as exon) can change among paralogous ncRNA.

Evolution, Non-coding RNA, mRNA, rRNA, snRNA, snoRNA, miRNA, Y-RNA, Vault RNA, gRNA, RNA editing, UTR

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Last modified: 2005-04-22 17:26:24 xtof