For many years, only a small fraction of the human genome was believed to regulate cell function and development.
This protein-coding portion composed only 1% to 2% of 3 billion human DNA base pairs—the remaining sequence was classified as junk DNA.
Drs John Abraham and Stephen Meltzer review the involvement of noncoding RNAs, lncRNAs in particular, in development of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal carcinoma.
|These noncoding RNA classes use diverse molecular mechanisms for organ system development|
The team revealed that most of the genome is transcribed into a broad array of noncoding RNAs, ranging in size from microRNA to long noncoding RNA.
These noncoding RNA classes have been shown to use diverse molecular mechanisms to control gene expression and organ system development.
Dr Abraham's team concludes, "As anticipated, alterations in this large control system can contribute to disease pathogenesis and carcinogenesis."