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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 541786, 11 pages
Review Article

Molecular Mechanisms and Function Prediction of Long Noncoding RNA

Institute of Biostatistics, School of Life Science, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 2004333, China

Received 30 October 2012; Accepted 21 November 2012

Academic Editors: G. P. Chrousos and T. Kino

Copyright © 2012 Handong Ma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The central dogma of gene expression considers RNA as the carrier of genetic information from DNA to protein. However, it has become more and more clear that RNA plays more important roles than simply being the information carrier. Recently, whole genome transcriptomic analyses have identified large numbers of dynamically expressed long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), many of which are involved in a variety of biological functions. Even so, the functions and molecular mechanisms of most lncRNAs still remain elusive. Therefore, it is necessary to develop computational methods to predict the function of lncRNAs in order to accelerate the study of lncRNAs. Here, we review the recent progress in the identification of lncRNAs, the molecular functions and mechanisms of lncRNAs, and the computational methods for predicting the function of lncRNAs.