The Science of Existence (135-3) RNA Regulation

RNA Regulation

RNA has become widely suspected as the culprit behind almost every case of epigenetic regulation. There continues to be a shift in how we conceptualize this remarkably versatile macromolecule, once regarded primarily as mere intermediary of the “central dogma” stating that information moves unidirectionally from DNA to RNA to protein. ~ Chinese American geneticist Jeannie Lee

DNA is used to make RNA. RNA is used to make proteins. Proteins are the principal actors of biological functions.

That is the classical script for RNA. But many types of RNA have other functions besides protein coding. Those functions involve RNA communiqués that alter protein production or gene expression. There is an ever-growing compendium of regulatory agents involved. 2 worth noting are RNAi and microRNA.

RNA interference (RNAi) affects which genes are active, and how active genes are. RNAi limits expression, sometimes to the point of silencing a gene, by cleaving its target: messenger RNA (mRNA).