Non-coding RNAs: lncRNAs, miRNAs, and piRNAs in sexual development


  • M. Burgos
  • A. Hurtado
  • R. Jiménez
  • F.J. Barrionuevo


  • Sexual Development


  • Sex Dev


  • Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are a group of RNAs that do not encode functional proteins, including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs), PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), and short interfering RNAs (siRNAs). In the last 2 decades an effort has been made to uncover the role of ncRNAs during development and disease, and nowadays it is clear that these molecules have a regulatory function in many of the developmental and physiological processes where they have been studied. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of ncRNAs during gonad determination and development, focusing mainly on mammals, although we also provide information from other species, in particular when there is not much information on the function of particular types of ncRNAs during mammalian sexual development.