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Time to switch gears: how long noncoding RNAs function as epigenetic regulators in Apicomplexan parasites.

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) are emerging as important regulators of gene expression in eukaryotes. In recent years, a large repertoire of lncRNA were discovered in Apicomplexan parasites and were implicated in several mechanisms of gene expression, including marking genes for activation, contributing to the formation of subnuclear compartments and organization, regulating the deposition of epigenetic modifications, influencing chromatin and chromosomal structure and manipulating host gene expression. Here, we aim to update recent knowledge on the role of lncRNAs as regulators in Apicomplexan parasites and highlight the possible molecular mechanisms by which they function. We hope that some of the hypotheses raised here will contribute to further investigation and lead to new mechanistic insight and better understanding of the role of lncRNA in parasite's biology.

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