R-Loop Mediated trans Action of the APOLO Long Noncoding RNA

Journal article


In eukaryotes, three-dimensional genome organization is critical for transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) can modulate chromatin conformation of spatially related genomic locations within the nucleus. Here, we show that the lncRNA APOLO (AUXIN-REGULATED PROMOTER LOOP) recognizes multiple distant independent loci in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. We found that APOLO targets are not spatially associated in the nucleus and that APOLO recognizes its targets by short sequence complementarity and the formation of DNA-RNA duplexes (R-loops). The invasion of APOLO to the target DNA decoys the plant Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 component LHP1, modulating local chromatin 3D conformation. APOLO lncRNA coordinates the expression of distal unrelated auxin-responsive genes during lateral root development in Arabidopsis. Hence, R-loop formation and chromatin protein decoy mediate trans action of lncRNAs on distant loci.