long non-coding RNA (lncRNA)

Over the past decades, advances in RNA sequencing methods (RNA-Seq) have revealed that a large proportion of eukaryotic genomes are transcribed outside the coding regions. These thousands of new transcripts have been named non-coding RNAs (ncRNA). Among them, long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) are RNA longer than 200nt with a low protein coding capacity. They are generally polyadenylated, lowly expressed and in a fairly localised manner (ie in few cells) or specific in response to environmental stresses.

LncRNAs have long been regarded as transcriptional noise due to their low protein coding potential, their poor conservation and their low level of expression. However, an increasing number of studies have shown that lncRNAs can regulate gene expression at different levels and play an important role in a variety of biological processes. LncRNAs have been shown to regulate the expression of contiguous genes (cis action) or act at a distance (trans action) via interactions with ribonucleoproteins or other protein complexes, modulate splicing of mRNA transcripts and/or hijack proteins or RNA molecules. Therefore they seems to be involved in all steps of gene expression regulation.

According to their locations with respect to the other genes, lncRNAs are classified into different categories:

  • intergenic lncRNAs (lincRNAs), when they are located in between two genes
  • intronic lncRNAs, when they are located in introns of coding genes
  • sense lncRNAs, when they are the result of specific RNA isoform of a coding genes
  • natural antisense transcripts (NATs), when they are located on the other strand of the DNA of a gene.

The major challenges in lncRNAs investigation are to understand their mechanism of actions and how are they evolving.

Publication The lncRNA MARS modulates the epigenetic reprogramming of the marneral cluster in response to ABA
Publication Regulatory long non-coding RNAs in root growth and development
Publication Sequence-unrelated long noncoding RNAs converged to modulate the activity of conserved epigenetic machineries across kingdoms
Publication Insights into long non-coding RNA regulation of anthocyanin carrot root pigmentation
Publication Landscape of the Noncoding Transcriptome Response of Two Arabidopsis Ecotypes to Phosphate Starvation
Publication The Arabidopsis lncRNA ASCO modulates the transcriptome through interaction with splicing factors
Publication R-Loop Mediated trans Action of the APOLO Long Noncoding RNA
Publication Whole-genome landscape of Medicago truncatula symbiotic genes.