Noncoding RNAs in Apicomplexan Parasites: An Update

Illustration of Long Noncoding RNA (lncRNA) Functions in Apicomplexan Parasites.

Recent breakthroughs in high-throughput technologies, transcriptomics, and advances in our understanding of gene regulatory networks have enhanced our perspective on the complex interplay between parasite and host. Noncoding RNA molecules have been implicated in critical roles covering a broad range of biological processes in the Apicomplexa. Processes that are affected range from parasite development to host–parasite interactions and include interactions with epigenetic machinery and other regulatory factors. Here we review recent progress involving noncoding RNAs and their functions in the Apicomplexa, with a focus on three parasites: PlasmodiumToxoplasma, and Cryptosporidium. We discuss the limitations and challenges of current methods applied to apicomplexan noncoding RNA study and discuss future directions in this exciting field.




Yiran Li, Rodrigo P. Baptista, Jessica C. Kissinger. Trends Parasitol. 2020 Aug 19;S1471-4922(20)30189-6.

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