The many faces of long noncoding RNAs

Alessandro Gardini, Ramin Shiekhattar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Over the past few years, the field of noncoding RNAs has grown from a niche for geneticists into a prominent domain of mainstream biology. Advances in genomic technologies have provided a more comprehensive view of the mammalian genome, improving our knowledge of regions of the genome devoid of protein-coding potential. A large body of evidence supports the proposal that noncoding RNAs account for a large proportion of the transcriptional output of any given cell and tissue type. This review will delve into the biogenesis and function of long noncoding RNAs. We will discuss our current understanding of these molecules as major chromatin players, and explore future directions in the field. Metazoan genomes contain thousands of loci that encode long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). A large number of lncRNAs are monoexonic and map to distal regulatory regions (enhancers). An overwhelming amount of evidence suggests a role for lncRNAs in regulation of transcription through association with chromatin modifying complexes and transcriptional coactivators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1657
Number of pages11
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • eRNAs
  • enhancer
  • lncRNAs
  • noncoding
  • transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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