Researchers from the University of Navarra, Spain describe a novel human lncRNA, named CONCR (cohesion regulator noncoding RNA) involved in DNA replication and sister chromatid cohesion. They show that CONCR expression is periodic in the cell cycle, suggesting that the lncRNA has a tightly-regulated temporal function in the cell. Furthermore, as previously shown for protein coding genes, such as cyclins or growth factors, may represent an example of noncoding gene fundamental to cycling cells. Indeed, the researchers observed that depletion of CONCR by siRNA or genome editing affects DNA replication and cell cycle progression, leading to decreased cell proliferation and increased cell death.
CONCR interacts with DDX11 and modulates the ATPase activity of the helicase, ensuring correct DNA replication and sister chromatid cohesion, which finally results in proper cell proliferation and survival.