It turns out that centromeric RNA (cenRNA) helps control cell division:
If there is too much or too little centromeric RNA (cenRNA), the centromere will be defective and chromosomes will be lost. The findings were recently published in one of the top multidisciplinary journals, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This research article is recommended by F1000Prime, whose members selected approximately the top 2% of all published articles in the biology and medical sciences each year, and the recommended Faculty commented that this PNAS article is of special significance and an emerging frontier in the centromere biology field.
The DNA of our chromosomes codes for about 20,000 proteins. When the cell needs to produce a particular protein, such as insulin, the segment of DNA molecule coding for insulin, known as a gene, is first used as a template to copy into a RNA molecule. That RNA then serves as a recipe for directing the cells to make the specific protein. However, only 2% of our DNA is protein-coding. Yet, another 70% of our DNA is still copied into RNAs, which are not recipes to make proteins. Those are called non-coding RNA. These non-coding RNAs are once considered as “junk”. In recent years, however, researches have revealed vital roles of non-coding RNA, such as in gene regulation and maintaining chromosome structure…
The University of Hong Kong, “Cell division requires a balanced level of non-coding RNA for chromosome stability” at Phys.org
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham, who writes, “The abstract at the .nih website contains a reference (18) to another paper, “Evolution: Tracing the origins of centrioles, cilia, and flagella” which is an interesting read. The Conclusions and Perspectives of this paper states “Because we have not yet found intermediate structures, we can only speculate how CBBs and cilia could have emerged from simpler, preexisting components.”
See also: The centriole as just another instance of random accumulation of cells Philip Cunningham draws attention to a comment that reads “If I were in a repair shop and came across something that looked like this I’d say it’s the stator rotor of a brushless DC motor. This looks very similar and it is constructed from laminations, just like a DC rotor is constructed. Hmmm.”
Junk RNA helps embryos sort themselves out
Junk RNA” plays key role in helping cells respond to stress
“Junk” RNA helps regulate metabolism
Follow UD News at Twitter!