Theory in Biosciences

, 123:301

Evolutionary patterns of non-coding RNAs

  • Athanasius F. Bompfünewerer
  • Christoph Flamm
  • Claudia Fried
  • Guido Fritzsch
  • Ivo L. Hofacker
  • Jörg Lehmann
  • Kristin Missal
  • Axel Mosig
  • Bettina Müller
  • Sonja J. Prohaska
  • Bärbel M. R. Stadler
  • Peter F. Stadler
  • Andrea Tanzer
  • Stefan Washietl
  • Christina Witwer
MATH/ChEM/COMP2004

DOI: 10.1016/j.thbio.2005.01.002

Cite this article as:
Bompfünewerer, A.F., Flamm, C., Fried, C. et al. Theory Biosci. (2005) 123: 301. doi:10.1016/j.thbio.2005.01.002

Abstract

A plethora of new functions of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been discovered in past few years. In fact, RNA is emerging as the central player in cellular regulation, taking on active roles in multiple regulatory layers from transcription, RNA maturation, and RNA modification to translational regulation. Nevertheless, very little is known about the evolution of this “Modern RNA World” and its components. In this contribution, we attempt to provide at least a cursory overview of the diversity of ncRNAs and functional RNA motifs in non-translated regions of regular messenger RNAs (mRNAs) with an emphasis on evolutionary questions. This survey is complemented by an in-depth analysis of examples from different classes of RNAs focusing mostly on their evolution in the vertebrate lineage. We present a survey of Y RNA genes in vertebrates and study the molecular evolution of the U7 snRNA, the snoRNAs E1/U17, E2, and E3, the Y RNA family, the let-7 microRNA (miRNA) family, and the mRNA-like evf-1 gene. We furthermore discuss the statistical distribution of miRNAs in metazoans, which suggests an explosive increase in the miRNA repertoire in vertebrates. The analysis of the transcription of ncRNAs suggests that small RNAs in general are genetically mobile in the sense that their association with a hostgene (e.g. when transcribed from introns of a mRNA) can change on evolutionary time scales. The let-7 family demonstrates, that even the mode of transcription (as intron or as exon) can change among paralogous ncRNA.

Keywords

Evolution Non-coding RNA mRNA rRNA snRNA snoRNA miRNA Y-RNA Vault RNA gRNA RNA editing UTR 

Copyright information

© Elsevier GmbH 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Athanasius F. Bompfünewerer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christoph Flamm
    • 1
  • Claudia Fried
    • 3
  • Guido Fritzsch
    • 4
  • Ivo L. Hofacker
    • 1
  • Jörg Lehmann
    • 3
  • Kristin Missal
    • 3
  • Axel Mosig
    • 3
  • Bettina Müller
    • 3
    • 5
  • Sonja J. Prohaska
    • 3
  • Bärbel M. R. Stadler
    • 6
  • Peter F. Stadler
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 7
    • 8
  • Andrea Tanzer
    • 1
    • 4
  • Stefan Washietl
    • 1
  • Christina Witwer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical ChemistryUniversity of ViennaWienAustria
  2. 2.Zentralfriedhof WienWienAustria
  3. 3.Bioinformatics Group, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Interdisciplinary Center for BioinformaticsUniversity of LeipzigHärtelstraße 16-18LeipzigGermany
  5. 5.Department of Biotechnology and BioinformaticsUniversity of Applied SciencesWeihenstephanFreisingGermany
  6. 6.Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the SciencesLeipzigGermany
  7. 7.Santa Fe InstituteSanta FeUSA
  8. 8.Bioinformatics Group, Department of Computer Science, and Interdisciplinary Center for BioinformaticsUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

Personalised recommendations