LncRNAs and immunity: watchdogs for host pathogen interactions
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is an oncogenic γ-herpesivrus, the causative agent of Kaposi's sarcoma and body cavity lymphomas. During infection KSHV produces a highly abundant long non-coding polyadenylated RNA that is retained in the nucleus known as PAN RNA. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNA) are key regulators of gene expression and are known to interact with specific chromatin modification complexes, working in cis and trans to regulate gene expression. Data strongly supports a model where PAN RNA is a multifunctional regulatory transcript that controls KSHV gene expression by mediating the modification of chromatin by targeting the KSHV repressed genome.