On the classification of long non-coding RNAs.

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RNA biology, ISSN: 1555-8584, Vol: 10, Issue: 6, Page: 925-33

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Ma, Lina; Bajic, Vladimir B.; Zhang, Zhang
Informa UK Limited; Taylor & Francis
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; lncRNA; lncRNA classification; Long non-coding RNA; RNA transcripts
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Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been found to perform various functions in a wide variety of important biological processes. To make easier interpretation of lncRNA functionality and conduct deep mining on these transcribed sequences, it is convenient to classify lncRNAs into different groups. Here, we summarize classification methods of lncRNAs according to their four major features, namely, genomic location and context, effect exerted on DNA sequences, mechanism of functioning and their targeting mechanism. In combination with the presently available function annotations, we explore potential relationships between different classification categories, and generalize and compare biological features of different lncRNAs within each category. Finally, we present our view on potential further studies. We believe that the classifications of lncRNAs as indicated above are of fundamental importance for lncRNA studies, helpful for further investigation of specific lncRNAs, for formulation of new hypothesis based on different features of lncRNA and for exploration of the underlying lncRNA functional mechanisms.