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Endogenous Double-Stranded RNA

Biosciences Institute, Medical School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2021 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 17 February 2021 / Published: 19 February 2021
The birth of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) is closely associated with the presence and activation of repetitive elements in the genome. The transcription of endogenous retroviruses as well as long and short interspersed elements is not only essential for evolving lncRNAs but is also a significant source of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). From an lncRNA-centric point of view, the latter is a minor source of bother in the context of the entire cell; however, dsRNA is an essential threat. A viral infection is associated with cytoplasmic dsRNA, and endogenous RNA hybrids only differ from viral dsRNA by the 5′ cap structure. Hence, a multi-layered defense network is in place to protect cells from viral infections but tolerates endogenous dsRNA structures. A first line of defense is established with compartmentalization; whereas endogenous dsRNA is found predominantly confined to the nucleus and the mitochondria, exogenous dsRNA reaches the cytoplasm. Here, various sensor proteins recognize features of dsRNA including the 5′ phosphate group of viral RNAs or hybrids with a particular length but not specific nucleotide sequences. The sensors trigger cellular stress pathways and innate immunity via interferon signaling but also induce apoptosis via caspase activation. Because of its central role in viral recognition and immune activation, dsRNA sensing is implicated in autoimmune diseases and used to treat cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: double-stranded RNA (dsRNA); innate immunity; repetitive DNA elements (RE); antisense transcript double-stranded RNA (dsRNA); innate immunity; repetitive DNA elements (RE); antisense transcript
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sadeq, S.; Al-Hashimi, S.; Cusack, C.M.; Werner, A. Endogenous Double-Stranded RNA. Non-Coding RNA 2021, 7, 15.

AMA Style

Sadeq S, Al-Hashimi S, Cusack CM, Werner A. Endogenous Double-Stranded RNA. Non-Coding RNA. 2021; 7(1):15.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sadeq, Shaymaa, Surar Al-Hashimi, Carmen M. Cusack, and Andreas Werner. 2021. "Endogenous Double-Stranded RNA" Non-Coding RNA 7, no. 1: 15.

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