Small RNA

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Small RNA are <200 nt (nucleotide) in length, and are usually non-coding RNA molecules.[1] RNA silencing is often a function of these molecules, with the most common and well-studied example being RNA interference (RNAi), in which endogenously expressed microRNA (miRNA) or exogenously derived small interfering RNA (siRNA) induces the degradation of complementary messenger RNA. Other classes of small RNA have been identified, including piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) and its subspecies repeat associated small interfering RNA (rasiRNA).[2] Small RNA "is unable to induce RNAi alone, and to accomplish the task it must form the core of the RNA–protein complex termed the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), specifically with Argonaute protein".[3]

Small RNA have been detected or sequenced using a range of techniques, including directly by MicroRNA sequencing on several sequencing platforms,[4][5][6] or indirectly through genome sequencing and analysis.[7] Identification of miRNAs has been evaluated in detecting human disease, such as breast cancer.[5] Evaluating small RNA is useful for certain kinds of study because its molecules "do not need to be fragmented prior to library preparation".[8]

Kinds of small RNA include:


  1. ^ Storz, G (17 May 2002). "An expanding universe of noncoding RNAs". Science. 296 (5571): 1260–3. doi:10.1126/science.1072249. PMID 12016301.
  2. ^ Gunawardane LS, Saito K, Nishida KM, Miyoshi K, Kawamura Y, Nagami T, Siomi H, Siomi MC (Mar 2007). "A slicer-mediated mechanism for repeat-associated siRNA 5' end formation in Drosophila". Science. 315 (5818): 1587–90. doi:10.1126/science.1140494. PMID 17322028.
  3. ^ Robert A. Meyers, Epigenetic Regulation and Epigenomics (2012), p. 366.
  4. ^ Lu, C; Tej, SS; Luo, S; Haudenschild, CD; Meyers, BC; Green, PJ (Sep 2, 2005). "Elucidation of the small RNA component of the transcriptome". Science. 309 (5740): 1567–9. doi:10.1126/science.1114112. PMID 16141074.
  5. ^ a b Wu, Qian; Lu, Zuhong; Li, Hailing; Lu, Jiafeng; Guo, Li; Ge, Qinyu (2011). "Next-Generation Sequencing of MicroRNAs for Breast Cancer Detection". Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2011: 1–7. doi:10.1155/2011/597145. ISSN 1110-7243. PMC 3118289. PMID 21716661.
  6. ^ Ruby, J. Graham; Jan, Calvin; Player, Christopher; Axtell, Michael J.; Lee, William; Nusbaum, Chad; Ge, Hui; Bartel, David P. (2006). "Large-Scale Sequencing Reveals 21U-RNAs and Additional MicroRNAs and Endogenous siRNAs in C. elegans". Cell. 127 (6): 1193–1207. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2006.10.040. ISSN 0092-8674. PMID 17174894.
  7. ^ Witten, Daniela; Tibshirani, Robert; Gu, Sam; Fire, Andrew; Lui, Weng-Onn (2010). "Ultra-high throughput sequencing-based small RNA discovery and discrete statistical biomarker analysis in a collection of cervical tumours and matched controls". BMC Biology. 8 (1): 58. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-58. ISSN 1741-7007. PMC 2880020. PMID 20459774.
  8. ^ Robert A. Meyers, Epigenetic Regulation and Epigenomics (2012), p. 162.
  9. ^ Wei, H; Zhou, B; Zhang, F; Tu, Y; Hu, Y; Zhang, B; Zhai, Q (2013). "Profiling and identification of small rDNA-derived RNAs and their potential biological functions". PLOS One. 8 (2): e56842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056842. PMC 3572043. PMID 23418607.