BioScience Trends. 2022;16(5):330-345. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01304)

Current status and perspectives of non-coding RNA and phase separation interactions

Gao Y, Liu CH, Wu TG, Liu RJ, Mao WP, Gan XQ, Lu X, Liu YF, Wan LL, Xu B, Chen M


Phase separation refers to a phenomenon in which different components of a cell collide and fuse with each other to form droplets such that some components are encapsulated within the droplet and some are blocked outside. It is prevalent in eukaryotic cells and is closely related to genome assembly and transcriptional regulation, enabling multiple biological functions. With the development of high-throughput sequencing technologies, several non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been shown to play an important role in epigenetic regulation of gene expression in addition to their roles at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. In addition, some ncRNAs are involved in the formation of membraneless organelles (MLOs), the regulation of genomic stability and stress response through phase separation. Notably, phase separation can also affect the biogenesis, processing and maturation of ncRNAs. This review summarizes recent discoveries related to the relationship between ncRNAs and phase separation, providing new perspectives to guide future interventions.

KEYWORDS: phase separation, non-coding RNA (ncRNA), membraneless organelle (MLO), genomic stability, stress response

Full Text: