The most stable structure of DNA is the canonical right-handed double helix termed B DNA. However, certain environments and sequence motifs favor alternative conformations, termed non-canonical secondary structures. The roles of DNA and RNA secondary structures in transcriptional regulation remain incompletely understood. However, advances in high-throughput assays have enabled genome wide characterization of some secondary structures. Here, we describe their regulatory functions in promoters and 3’UTRs, providing insights into key mechanisms through which they regulate gene expression. We discuss their implication in human disease, and how advances in molecular technologies and emerging high-throughput experimental methods could provide additional insights.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Cell Biology