A non-coding RNA represses expression of a cell-cycle-regulated gene by directly interfering with the binding of transcription factors, a paper published online by Nature suggests. The discovery expands our knowledge of the diverse mechanisms used by non-coding RNAs in regulating gene expression.
Transcription factors are known to bind to the promoter regions of genes and initiate the production of RNA transcripts. Alexandre Akoulitchev and colleagues find that a non-coding RNA - an RNA molecule that is not translated into protein - forms a complex with the major promoter region of the human dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene, which in turn interferes with the binding of transcription factors. The non-coding RNA is only produced in quiescent cells, leading to repression of the DHFR gene in these conditions.
Alexandre Akoulitchev (University of Oxford, UK)
(C) Nature press release.
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