Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology

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Mini Review - Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology (2023) Volume 7, Issue 3

The role of non-coding RNAs in gene expression and disease pathogenesis.

Zeinab Arman*

Department of Genetics, University of Montreal Clinical Research, Montreal, Canada

*Corresponding Author:
Zeinab Arman
Department of Genetics, University of Montreal Clinical Research, Canada
E-mail: zeinab.arman@ircm.qc.cas

Received: 01-May -2023, Manuscript No. AAGMB-23-102768; Editor assigned: 02-May-2023, PreQC No. AAGMB-23-102768 (PQ); Reviewed:16-May-2023, QC No. AAGMB-23-102768; Revised: 22 -May-2023, Manuscript No. AAGMB-23-102768 (R); Published: 29-May-2023, DOI:10.35841/aagmb-7.3.146

Citation: Arman Z. The role of non-coding RNAs in gene expression and disease pathogenesis. J Genet Mol Biol. 2023;7(3):146

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Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of gene expression and are increasingly recognized as important players in various biological processes. In this review, we provide an overview of the diverse classes of ncRNAs, including microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and circular RNAs, and discuss their roles in gene expression and disease pathogenesis.


Non-coding RNAs, Gene expression, Disease pathogenesis, Regulatory RNAs, MicroRNAs, Long non-coding RNAs.


Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have emerged as essential regulators of gene expression and have gained significant attention in recent years. Initially considered as "junk" molecules, ncRNAs are now recognized for their diverse functions in various cellular processes, including development, differentiation, and disease pathogenesis. This article aims to explore the role of ncRNAs in gene expression regulation and their implications in disease development and progression [1].

ncRNAs can be broadly categorized into two main classes: small non-coding RNAs and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Small non-coding RNAs include microRNAs (miRNAs), small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). On the other hand, lncRNAs are a heterogeneous group of transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides. Both classes of ncRNAs have been shown to play critical roles in gene expression regulation [2].

ncRNAs regulate gene expression through various mechanisms. miRNAs, for instance, bind to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs), leading to their degradation or translational repression. This post-transcriptional regulation allows miRNAs to fine-tune gene expression by modulating protein levels. Similarly, siRNAs are involved in RNA interference (RNAi) pathways, where they guide the degradation of target mRNAs. piRNAs, predominantly expressed in the germline, play a vital role in silencing transposable elements and maintaining genome stability.

In addition to small ncRNAs, lncRNAs have gained considerable attention due to their diverse roles in gene regulation. They can act as scaffolds, interacting with various proteins and DNA molecules to form regulatory complexes. lncRNAs can also function as decoys, competing with other RNAs or proteins for binding sites. Moreover, they can modulate chromatin structure and recruit epigenetic modifiers, thereby influencing gene expression programs [3].

The dysregulation of ncRNAs has been implicated in numerous diseases. Altered expression levels or mutations in miRNAs have been linked to various cancers, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. For example, oncogenic miRNAs, known as oncomiRs, can promote tumor progression by suppressing tumor suppressor genes or activating oncogenes. Conversely, tumor-suppressive miRNAs can be downregulated, leading to uncontrolled cell growth and metastasis.

lncRNAs have also been associated with several diseases. For instance, the lncRNA HOTAIR is upregulated in various cancers and is known to promote metastasis by recruiting chromatin-modifying complexes to silence tumor suppressor genes. Another well-studied lncRNA, MALAT1, has been implicated in lung cancer and other malignancies, regulating alternative splicing and promoting cell proliferation and migration [4].

Furthermore, ncRNAs have emerged as promising diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Their stable presence in body fluids, such as blood or urine, makes them attractive candidates as non-invasive biomarkers for disease detection and prognosis. Additionally, the development of RNA-based therapeutics, such as miRNA mimics or inhibitors, holds great potential for targeted therapies aimed at restoring normal gene expression patterns in diseases where ncRNAs are dysregulated [5].


Non-coding RNAs are critical players in gene expression regulation and have significant implications in disease pathogenesis. The interplay between ncRNAs and protein-coding genes is complex and multifaceted, and ongoing research continues to uncover their diverse roles. Understanding the functions and mechanisms of ncRNAs can provide valuable insights into disease mechanisms and potentially lead to the development of novel diagnostic tools and therapeutic interventions. Future studies focusing on the identification of ncRNA targets and unraveling their functional mechanisms will undoubtedly contribute to our understanding of gene regulation and disease biology.


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