tRNA fragments in human health and disease

FEBS Lett. 2014 Nov 28;588(23):4297-304. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Sep 16.


Transfer RNA (tRNA) is traditionally considered to be an adaptor molecule that helps ribosomes to decode messenger RNA (mRNA) and synthesize protein. Recent studies have demonstrated that tRNAs also serve as a major source of small non-coding RNAs that possess distinct and varied functions. These tRNA fragments are heterogeneous in size, nucleotide composition, biogenesis and function. Here we describe multiple roles that tRNA fragments play in cell physiology and discuss their relevance to human health and disease.

Keywords: Angiogenin; Apoptosis; RNA processing; Stress; Transfer RNA; tRNA-derived fragment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells / cytology
  • Cells / metabolism
  • Cells / pathology
  • Disease / genetics*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • RNA, Transfer / chemistry*
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*


  • RNA, Transfer