A guide to naming human non-coding RNA genes

Ruth L. Seal, Ling Ling Chen, Sam Griffiths-Jones, Todd M. Lowe, Michael B. Mathews, Dawn O'Reilly, Andrew J. Pierce, Peter F. Stadler, Igor Ulitsky, Sandra L. Wolin, Elspeth A. Bruford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Research on non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is a rapidly expanding field. Providing an official gene symbol and name to ncRNA genes brings order to otherwise potential chaos as it allows unambiguous communication about each gene. The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC, www.genenames.org) is the only group with the authority to approve symbols for human genes. The HGNC works with specialist advisors for different classes of ncRNA to ensure that ncRNA nomenclature is accurate and informative, where possible. Here, we review each major class of ncRNA that is currently annotated in the human genome and describe how each class is assigned a standardised nomenclature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere103777
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


  • gene nomenclature
  • gene symbols
  • non-coding RNA


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