Long noncoding RNA-mediated intrachromosomal interactions

Kcnq1ot1 is a long noncoding ribonucleic acid (RNA; lncRNA) that participates in the regulation of genes within the Kcnq1 imprinting domain. Using a novel RNA-guided chromatin conformation capture method, a team led by researchers at the First Affiliated Hospital, Jilin University, China demonstrate that the 5′ region of Kcnq1ot1 RNA orchestrates a long-range intrachromosomal loop between KvDMR1 and the Kcnq1 promoter that is required for maintenance of imprinting. PRC2 (polycomb repressive complex 2), which participates in the allelic repression of Kcnq1, is also recruited by Kcnq1ot1 RNA via EZH2. Targeted suppression of Kcnq1ot1 lncRNA prevents the creation of this long-range intrachromosomal loop and causes loss of Kcnq1 imprinting. These observations delineate a novel mechanism by which an lncRNA directly builds an intrachromosomal interaction complex to establish allele-specific transcriptional gene silencing over a large chromosomal domain.


  • Zhang H, Zeitz MJ, Wang H, Niu B, Ge S, Li W, Cui J, Wang G, Qian G, Higgins MJ, Fan X, Hoffman AR, Hu JF. (2013) Long noncoding RNA-mediated intrachromosomal interactions promote imprinting at the Kcnq1 locus. J Cell Biol 204(1):61-75. [abstract]

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