Noncanonical Roles of tRNAs: TRNA Fragments and beyond

Academic Article


  • As one of the most abundant and conserved RNA species, transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are well known for their role in reading the codons on messenger RNAs and translating them into proteins. In this review, we discuss the noncanonical functions of tRNAs. These include tRNAs as precursors to novel small RNA molecules derived from tRNAs, also called tRNA-derived fragments, that are abundant across species and have diverse functions in different biological processes, including regulating protein translation, Argonaute-dependent gene silencing, and more. Furthermore, the role of tRNAs in biosynthesis and other regulatory pathways, including nutrient sensing, splicing, transcription, retroelement regulation, immune response, and apoptosis, is reviewed. Genome organization and sequence variation of tRNA genes are also discussed in light of their noncanonical functions. Lastly, we discuss the recent applications of tRNAs in genome editing and microbiome sequencing.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19654876
  • Author List

  • Su Z; Wilson B; Kumar P; Dutta A
  • Start Page

  • 47
  • End Page

  • 69
  • Volume

  • 54