The world of RNAs is much more complex than previously thought, and has rapidly emerged as one of the most actively researched topics in the life sciences. Recently, two findings in this field were reported and given special attention: promoter-associated RNAs (paRNAs), a novel class of RNAs with numerous potential functions; and promoter-targeted RNA-induced transcriptional gene regulation, a new regulatory mechanism to control transcription. In this review, we summarize the studies in these two areas, and outline the current understanding with respect to the potential biological functions of paRNAs, and the molecular mechanisms of promoter-targeted RNA-induced transcriptional gene silencing and activation. Additionally, we seek to integrate these two areas, as paRNAs may have potential biological links with promoter-targeted RNA-induced transcriptional gene regulation. Finally, we will discuss the significance of identifying paRNAs and the possible use of promoter-targeted RNAs in gene regulation and therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology