Long non-protein-coding RNA (lncRNA) sequences are often transcribed from the opposite, or antisense, strand of a protein coding gene. In the past few years, research has shown that these lncRNAs play a number of regulatory roles in the cell. For example, after they are transcribed (pictured here) lncRNAs can direct epigenetic modification by becoming associated with methyltransferases—enzymes that mark DNA or histones with methyl groups—and bringing those enzymes to specific areas in the genome. Where the lncRNA binds is determined by the nucleic acid’s sequence and folding conformation.

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