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Review
, 476 (8), 1227-1245

The Chemical Diversity of RNA Modifications

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Review

The Chemical Diversity of RNA Modifications

R Jordan Ontiveros et al. Biochem J.

Abstract

Nucleic acid modifications in DNA and RNA ubiquitously exist among all the three kingdoms of life. This trait significantly broadens the genome diversity and works as an important means of gene transcription regulation. Although mammalian systems have limited types of DNA modifications, over 150 different RNA modification types have been identified, with a wide variety of chemical diversities. Most modifications occur on transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA, however many of the modifications also occur on other types of RNA species including mammalian mRNA and small nuclear RNA, where they are essential for many biological roles, including developmental processes and stem cell differentiation. These post-transcriptional modifications are enzymatically installed and removed in a site-specific manner by writer and eraser proteins respectively, while reader proteins can interpret modifications and transduce the signal for downstream functions. Dysregulation of mRNA modifications manifests as disease states, including multiple types of human cancer. In this review, we will introduce the chemical features and biological functions of these modifications in the coding and non-coding RNA species.

Keywords: RNA modification; chemical property; mRNA; non-coding RNA; rRNA; tRNA.

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