Sheena Saayman, Scripps, to Speak on lncRNAs at the Non-Coding RNAs and RNAi Conference


Sheena Saayman, The Scripps Research Institute, will speak about HIV-encoded antisense lncRNA at the Non-Coding RNAs and RNAi Research & Therapeutics Conference, to be held June 19-20, 2014 in San Diego, CA.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have a wide range of roles in human cells, including their function as epigenetic modulators, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of gene expression. Dr. Saayman, a postdoctoral fellow in the Kevin Morris lab, and her colleagues sought to characterize a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) encoded antisense RNA transcript that was recently reported and determine its potential role in viral transcription regulation.

The intrinsic properties of this HIV-expressed lncRNA have been characterized and the lab’s data suggests that it functions as an epigenetic brake to modulate viral transcription. Suppression of this long antisense transcript with small single-stranded antisense RNAs resulted in the activation of viral gene expression. This lncRNA was found to localize to the 5’LTR and usurp components of endogenous cellular pathways that are involved in lncRNA directed epigenetic gene silencing. Collectively, this viral expressed antisense lncRNA is involved in modulating HIV gene expression and that this regulatory effect is due to an alteration in the epigenetic landscape at the viral promoter.

Dr. Saayman and other researchers in the RNA field will gather at the Non-Coding RNAs and RNAi Research & Therapeutics meeting to discuss the latest advances in targeted delivery, aptamers, and other hot topics. Attendees will enjoy

For more information about the conference, please visit –

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