Main content area

Revealing lncRNA Structures and Interactions by Sequencing-Based Approaches

Qian, Xingyang, Zhao, Jieyu, Yeung, Pui Yan, Zhang, Qiangfeng Cliff, Kwok, Chun Kit
Trends in biochemical sciences 2019 v.44 no.1 pp. 33-52
gene expression, genes, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, metabolism, non-coding RNA, transcriptome
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as significant players in almost every level of gene function and regulation. Thus, characterizing the structures and interactions of lncRNAs is essential for understanding their mechanistic roles in cells. Through a combination of (bio)chemical approaches and automated capillary and high-throughput sequencing (HTS), the complexity and diversity of RNA structures and interactions has been revealed in the transcriptomes of multiple species. These methods have uncovered important biological insights into the mechanistic and functional roles of lncRNA in gene expression and RNA metabolism, as well as in development and disease. In this review, we summarize the latest sequencing strategies to reveal RNA structure, RNA–RNA, RNA–DNA, and RNA–protein interactions, and highlight the recent applications of these approaches to map functional lncRNAs. We discuss the advantages and limitations of these strategies, and provide recommendations to further advance methodologies capable of mapping RNA structure and interactions in order to discover new biology of lncRNAs and decipher their molecular mechanisms and implication in diseases.