Long non-coding RNAs and enhancers

Ulf Andersson Ørom, Ramin Shiekhattar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are emerging as important regulatory factors in mammalian genomics. A number of reports within the last 2 years have identified thousands of actively expressed long ncRNA transcripts with distinct properties. The long ncRNAs show differential expression patterns and regulation in a wide variety of cells and tissues, adding significant complexity to the understanding of their biological role. Furthermore, genome-wide studies of transcriptional enhancers based on chromatin modifications and enhancer binding proteins have led to the identification of putative enhancers and provided insight into their tissue-specific regulation of gene expression. In an exciting turn of events, new evidence is indicating that long ncRNAs are associated with enhancer regions and that such non-coding transcription correlate with the increased activity of the neighboring genes. Moreover, additional experiments suggest that enhancer-function can be mediated through a transcribed long ncRNA and that this might be a common function for long ncRNAs. Here, we review recent advances made both in the genome-wide characterization of enhancers and in the identification of new classes of long ncRNAs, and discuss the functional overlap of these two classes of regulatory elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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