Transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are an emerging class of regulatory non-coding RNAs that play important roles in post-transcriptional regulation across a variety of biological processes. Here, we review the recent advances in tsRNA biogenesis and regulatory functions from the perspectives of functional and evolutionary genomics, with a focus on the tsRNA biology of Drosophila. We first summarize our current understanding of the biogenesis mechanisms of different categories of tsRNAs that are generated under physiological or stressed conditions. Next, we review the conservation patterns of tsRNAs in all domains of life, with an emphasis on the conservation of tsRNAs between two Drosophila species. Then, we elaborate the currently known regulatory functions of tsRNAs in mRNA translation that are independent of, or dependent on, Argonaute (AGO) proteins. We also highlight some issues related to the fundamental biology of tsRNAs that deserve further study.
Keywords: Argonaute; stress response; tRNA-derived small RNAs; translational regulation; tsRNAs.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
tRNA-Derived Small RNA: A Novel Regulatory Small Non-Coding RNAS Li et al. Genes (Basel) 9 (5). PMID 29748504. - ReviewDeep analysis of next-generation sequencing data unveils numerous small non-coding RNAs with distinct functions. Recently, fragments derived from tRNA, named as tRNA-deri …
Drosophila tsRNAs Preferentially Suppress General Translation Machinery via Antisense Pairing and Participate in Cellular Starvation ResponseS Luo et al. Nucleic Acids Res 46 (10), 5250-5268. PMID 29548011.Transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are an emerging class of small RNAs, yet their regulatory roles have not been well understood. Here we studied the molecular mech …
Pathological Significance of tRNA-derived Small RNAs in Neurological DisordersC Qin et al. Neural Regen Res 15 (2), 212-221. PMID 31552886.Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are a type of RNA that is not translated into proteins. Transfer RNAs (tRNAs), a type of ncRNA, are the second most abundant type of RNA in cells …
Transfer RNA-derived Fragments and tRNA Halves: Biogenesis, Biological Functions and Their Roles in DiseasesY Shen et al. J Mol Med (Berl) 96 (11), 1167-1176. PMID 30232504. - ReviewThe number of studies on non-coding RNAs has increased substantially in recent years owing to their importance in gene regulation. However, the biological functions of sm …
Transfer RNA-derived Small RNAs in PlantsL Zhu et al. Sci China Life Sci 61 (2), 155-161. PMID 29170889. - ReviewRather than random degradation products, the 18 to 40 nucleotides (nt) transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are RNA species generated specifically from pre-RNAs or ma …
Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles
Paternal Contributions to Offspring Health: Role of Sperm Small RNAs in Intergenerational Transmission of Epigenetic InformationU Sharma. Front Cell Dev Biol 7, 215. PMID 31681757. - ReviewThe most fundamental process for the perpetuation of a species is the transfer of information from parent to offspring. Although genomic DNA contributes to the majority o …