Long noncoding RNAs in cell differentiation and pluripotency

Abstract

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were once regarded as nonfunctional by-products of transcription but their effects are now gradually being elucidated. Evidence suggests that lncRNAs play crucial roles in cell biology, especially in regulating gene expression. However, because of the diversity and complexity of their regulatory mechanisms, our knowledge of the function of lncRNAs represents only the tip of the iceberg. Recent studies have shown that lncRNAs are capable of regulating cell differentiation and pluripotency. Thus, we consider it to be an appropriate time to review the progress in understanding the role of lncRNAs in these two biological processes. In this review, the biological characteristics and regulatory mechanisms of lncRNAs at the chromatin remodeling level, transcriptional level and post-transcriptional level are described and recent advances in our comprehension of the role of lncRNAs in cell differentiation and pluripotency are discussed.

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-016-2451-5

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Cite this paper

@article{Chen2016LongNR, title={Long noncoding RNAs in cell differentiation and pluripotency}, author={Lin Chen and Sheng Zhang}, journal={Cell and Tissue Research}, year={2016}, volume={366}, pages={509-521} }