Processing of snoRNAs as a new source of regulatory non-coding RNAs

Marina Falaleeva, Stefan Stamm
2012 Bioessays  
Recent experimental evidence suggests that most of the genome is transcribed into non-coding RNAs. The initially made transcripts undergo further processing generating shorter, metabolically stable RNAs with diverse functions. Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are non-coding RNAs acting in modification of rRNAs, tRNAs and snRNAs that were considered stable. We review evidence that snoRNAs undergo further processing. High-throughput sequencing and RNase protection experiments showed widespread
more » ... ssion of snoRNA fragments, called sdRNAs for snoRNA derived RNAs. Some sdRNAs resemble miRNAs, associate with argonaute proteins and influence translation. Other sdRNAs are longer, form complexes with hnRNPs and influence gene expression. C/D box snoRNA fragmentation patterns are conserved across multiple cell types, suggesting a processing event, rather than degradation. The loss of expression from genetic loci that generate canonical snoRNAs and processed snoRNAs results in diseases, such as the Prader-Willi Syndrome, indicating possible physiological roles for processed snoRNAs. We propose that processed snoRNAs acquire new roles in gene expression and represent a new class of regulatory RNAs distinct from canonical snoRNAs.
doi:10.1002/bies.201200117 pmid:23180440 pmcid:PMC3732821 fatcat:nf4yvgymknfypkxl5nohzw7z3u