Long non-coding RNAs: evolution of new epigenetic and post-transcriptional functions

9:00 am on Monday 28 September 2015 — 5:00 pm on Tuesday 29 September 2015 at The Royal Society at More »

Featured long non-coding RNA – meiRNA

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play key roles in the formation of nuclear bodies. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, a More »

Lengthy RNAs earn respect as cellular players

from Science by Elizabeth Pennisi Surveys have uncovered thousands of long non-coding RNAs, molecules longer than 200 bases, and several More »

The RIDL hypothesis: transposable elements as functional domains of long noncoding RNAs

Our genome contains tens of thousands of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), many of which are likely to have genetic regulatory More »

Featured lncRNA – ncRuPAR

ncRuPAR is a newly discovered long noncoding RNA molecule that can upregulate protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) during embryonic growth; however, its More »


Review Paper

Long Noncoding RNAs in Imprinting and X Chromosome Inactivation

The field of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) research has been rapidly advancing in recent years. Technological advancements and deep-sequencing of the transcriptome have facilitated the identification of numerous new lncRNAs, many with unusual properties, however, the function of most of these molecules is still largely unknown. Some evidence suggests that several of these lncRNAs may regulate their own transcription in cis, and that of nearby genes, by recruiting remodeling factors to local chromatin. Notably, lncRNAs are known to exist at many imprinted gene clusters. Genomic imprinting is a complex and highly regulated process resulting in the monoallelic silencing of certain genes, based on the parent-of-origin of the allele. It is thought that lncRNAs may regulate many imprinted loci, however, the mechanism by which they exert such influence is poorly understood. This review will discuss what is known about the lncRNAs of major imprinted loci, and the roles they play in the regulation of imprinting.


  • Autuoro JM, Pirnie SP, Carmichael GG. (2014) Long Noncoding RNAs in Imprinting and X Chromosome Inactivation. Biomolecules 4(1):76-100. [article]

Incoming search terms:

  • mechanism of action of non coding RNAs in health

Long noncoding RNAs and prostate carcinogenesis: the missing ‘linc’?

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are rapidly becoming essential pieces in the cancer puzzle. Our understanding of their functional capabilities is in its infancy. One certain fact, however, is that their molecular interactions extend beyond chromatin complexes into diverse biological processes. In prostate cancer, aberrant expression of lncRNAs is associated with disease progression. Overexpression of oncogenic lncRNAs promotes tumor-cell proliferation and metastasis through chromatin looping and distal engagement with the androgen receptor, antisense gene regulation, alternative splicing, and impeding DNA repair. Several lncRNAs, such as prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3), prostate cancer gene expression marker 1 (PCGEM1), and prostate cancer associated ncRNA transcript 1 (PCAT1), are highly prostate-specific, posing as attractive biomarkers.


  • Walsh AL, Tuzova AV, Bolton EM, Lynch TH, Perry AS. (2014) Long noncoding RNAs and prostate carcinogenesis: the missing ‘linc’? Trends Mol Med [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

Incoming search terms:

  • molecular biology prostate cancer
  • LINC RNA proliferation
  • lncRNA PCA3 in prostate
  • long noncoding RNA ES1-3 cancer
  • prncr1 gene and gastric cancer

RNA regulatory networks in animals and plants: a long noncoding RNA perspective

A recent highlight of genomics research has been the discovery of many families of transcripts which have function but do not code for proteins. An important group is long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which are typically longer than 200 nt, and whose members originate from thousands of loci across genomes. The authors review progress in understanding the biogenesis and regulatory mechanisms of lncRNAs. They describe diverse computational and high throughput technologies for identifying and studying lncRNAs. They discuss the current knowledge of functional elements embedded in lncRNAs as well as insights into the lncRNA-based regulatory network in animals. The authors also describe genome-wide studies of large amount of lncRNAs in plants, as well as knowledge of selected plant lncRNAs with a focus on biotic/abiotic stress-responsive lncRNAs.


  • Bai Y, Dai X, Harrison AP, Chen M. (2014) RNA regulatory networks in animals and plants: a long noncoding RNA perspective. Brief Funct Genomics [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]


Incoming search terms:

  • non-coding rna review
  • functional significance of long non-coding rnas in breast cancer
  • along noncodingrna review

Long non-coding RNA-dependent transcriptional regulation in neuronal development and disease

Comprehensive analysis of the mammalian transcriptome has revealed that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) may make up a large fraction of cellular transcripts. Recent years have seen a surge of studies aimed at functionally characterizing the role of lncRNAs in development and disease. In this review, the authors discuss new findings implicating lncRNAs in controlling development of the central nervous system (CNS). The evolution of the higher vertebrate brain has been accompanied by an increase in the levels and complexities of lncRNAs expressed within the developing nervous system. Although a limited number of CNS-expressed lncRNAs are now known to modulate the activity of proteins important for neuronal differentiation, the function of the vast majority of neuronal-expressed lncRNAs is still unknown. Topics of intense current interest include the mechanism by which CNS-expressed lncRNAs might function in epigenetic and transcriptional regulation during neuronal development, and how gain and loss of function of individual lncRNAs contribute to neurological diseases.


  • Clark BS, Blackshaw S. (2014) Long non-coding RNA-dependent transcriptional regulation in neuronal development and disease. Front Genet 5, 164. [article]

Incoming search terms:

  • long non coding rna neurological disease
  • Molecular mechanisms of Modular regulatory principles of large non-coding RNAsnoncoding RNAs
  • rmst lncrna
  • rna regulation

Missing links in cardiology: long non-coding RNAs enter the arena

Heart failure as a consequence of ischemic, hypertensive, infectious, or hereditary heart disease is a major challenge in cardiology and topic of intense research. Recently, new players appeared in this field and promise deeper insights into cardiac development, function, and disease. Long non-coding RNAs are a novel class of transcripts that can regulate gene expression and may have many more functions inside the cell. Here, the authors present examples on long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) function in cardiac development and give suggestions on how lncRNAs may be involved in cardiomyocyte dysfunction, myocardial fibrosis, and inflammation, three hallmarks of the failing heart. Above that, theypoint out opportunities as well as challenges that should be considered in the endeavor to investigate cardiac lncRNAs.


  • Peters T, Schroen B. (2014) Missing links in cardiology: long non-coding RNAs enter the arena. Pflugers Arch 466(6), 1177-87. [abstract]

Incoming search terms:

  • lncRNA and heart failure