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Long noncoding RNAs: Lessons from Genomic imprinting.

Journal article
Authors Chandrasekhar Kanduri
Published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
Volume 1859
Issue 1
Pages 102–111
ISSN 0006-3002
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 102–111
Language en
Keywords Chromatin; Epigenetics; Genomic imprinting; Long noncoding RNA; lncRNA; noncoding RNA
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Basic Medicine, Medical Biotechnology


Genomic imprinting has been a great resource for studying transcriptional and post-transcriptional-based gene regulation by long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). In this article, I overview the functional role of intergenic lncRNAs (H19, IPW, and MEG3), antisense lncRNAs (Kcnq1ot1, Airn, Nespas, Ube3a-ATS), and enhancer lncRNAs (IG-DMR eRNAs) to understand the diverse mechanisms being employed by them in cis and/or trans to regulate the parent-of-origin-specific expression of target genes. Recent evidence suggests that some of the lncRNAs regulate imprinting by promoting intra-chromosomal higher-order chromatin compartmentalization, affecting replication timing and subnuclear positioning. Whereas others act via transcriptional occlusion or transcriptional collision-based mechanisms. By establishing genomic imprinting of target genes, the lncRNAs play a critical role in important biological functions, such as placental and embryonic growth, pluripotency maintenance, cell differentiation, and neural-related functions such as synaptic development and plasticity. An emerging consensus from the recent evidence is that the imprinted lncRNAs fine-tune gene expression of the protein-coding genes to maintain their dosage in cell. Hence, lncRNAs from imprinted clusters offer insights into their mode of action, and these mechanisms have been the basis for uncovering the mode of action of lncRNAs in several other biological contexts. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Clues to long noncoding RNA taxonomy, edited by Dr. Tetsuro Hirose and Dr. Shinichi Nakagawa.

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