Regulatory non-coding RNA: new instruments in the orchestration of cell death

Cell Death Dis. 2016 Aug 11;7(8):e2333. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.210.


Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) comprises a substantial portion of primary transcripts that are generated by genomic transcription, but are not translated into protein. The possible functions of these once considered 'junk' molecules have incited considerable interest and new insights have emerged. The two major members of ncRNAs, namely micro RNA (miRNA) and long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), have important regulatory roles in gene expression and many important physiological processes, which has recently been extended to programmed cell death. The previous paradigm of programmed cell death only by apoptosis has recently expanded to include modalities of regulated necrosis (RN), and particularly necroptosis. However, most research efforts in this field have been on protein regulators, leaving the role of ncRNAs largely unexplored. In this review, we discuss important findings concerning miRNAs and lncRNAs that modulate apoptosis and RN pathways, as well as the miRNA-lncRNA interactions that affect cell death regulation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Death
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism*


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Untranslated