Bringing RNA into genomics

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 10:31 in Biology & Nature

The human genome contains about 20,000 protein-coding genes, but the coding parts of our genes account for only about 2 percent of the entire genome. For the past two decades, scientists have been trying to find out what the other 98 percent is doing. A research consortium known as ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) has made significant progress toward that goal, identifying many genome locations that bind to regulatory proteins, helping to control which genes get turned on or off. In a new study that is also part of ENCODE, researchers have now identified many additional sites that code for RNA molecules that are likely to influence gene expression. These RNA sequences do not get translated into proteins, but act in a variety of ways to control how much protein is made from protein-coding genes. The research team, which includes scientists from MIT and several other institutions, made use of RNA-binding proteins...

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