Long non-coding RNAs

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) are a type of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that exceed 200 nucleotides in length. lncRNAs are a relatively abundant component of the mammalian transcriptome and have been implicated in several cellular functions, including the regulation of gene transcription through the recruitment of chromatin-modifying enzymes.

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News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion | | open

    Dr. Lovorka Stojic is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cambridge and will start her own research group at the Barts Cancer Institute this fall. Her research focuses on understanding how long noncoding RNAs and RNA-binding proteins regulate key cellular processes and how dysregulation of these processes can contribute to human diseases such as cancer. As part of our series on early-career researchers, we asked Dr. Stojic to tell us about her research and career path. She also shares her challenges from juggling between multiple roles and advice for job applications.

  • Comments and Opinion |

    The long non-coding RNA Xist induces heterochromatinization of the X chromosome by recruiting repressive protein complexes to chromatin. Here we gather evidence, from the literature and from computational analyses, showing that Xist assemblies are similar in size, shape and composition to phase-separated condensates, such as paraspeckles and stress granules. Given the progressive sequestration of Xist’s binding partners during X-chromosome inactivation, we formulate the hypothesis that Xist uses phase separation to perform its function.

    • Andrea Cerase
    • , Alexandros Armaos
    • , Christoph Neumayer
    • , Philip Avner
    • , Mitchell Guttman
    •  & Gian Gaetano Tartaglia
  • News and Views |

    Cholesterol accumulation in cells and blood vessels promotes the development of vascular diseases. The long non-coding RNA CHROME can help clear excess cholesterol and provide protection from atherosclerosis.

    • Tamer Sallam
    •  & Peter Tontonoz
  • News and Views |

    The intestinal crypt has become the prototype compartment to investigate adult stem cell biology, and the list of identified intestinal stem cell (ISC) markers is already extensive. A comprehensive study now uncovers an additional layer in ISC regulation by introducing long noncoding RNA lncGata6 to the stem cell repertoire.

    • Pantelis Hatzis
    •  & Hugo J. G. Snippert
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 1106-1107
  • News and Views |

    Paraspeckles are nuclear bodies built on the long noncoding RNA, NEAT1, that regulate cellular homeostasis, but how they sense and help under stress is unclear. A study now shows mitochondrial stress modulates paraspeckles by altering NEAT1 expression with a feedback loop that influences mitochondrial homeostasis.

    • Archa H. Fox
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 1108-1109