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LncRNA RUS shapes the gene expression program towards neurogenesis

Life Sci Alliance. 2022 Jun 10;5(10):e202201504. doi: 10.26508/lsa.202201504. PMID: 35688487.

Authors/Editors: Schneider MF, Müller V, Müller SA, Lichtenthaler SF, , Becker PB, Scheuermann JC.
Publication Date: 2022


The evolution of brain complexity correlates with an increased
expression of long, noncoding (lnc) RNAs in neural tissues. Al-
though prominent examples illustrate the potential of lncRNAs to
scaffold and target epigenetic regulators to chromatin loci, only
few cases have been described to function during brain devel-
opment. We present a first functional characterization of the
lncRNA LINC01322, which we term RUS for “RNA upstream of
Slitrk3.” The RUS gene is well conserved in mammals by sequence
and synteny next to the neurodevelopmental gene Slitrk3. RUS is
exclusively expressed in neural cells and its expression increases
during neuronal differentiation of mouse embryonic cortical
neural stem cells. Depletion of RUS locks neuronal precursors in
an intermediate state towards neuronal differentiation resulting
in arrested cell cycle and increased apoptosis. RUS associates
with chromatin in the vicinity of genes involved in neurogenesis,
most of which change their expression upon RUS depletion. The
identification of a range of epigenetic regulators as specific RUS
interactors suggests that the lncRNA may mediate gene activation
and repression in a highly context-dependent manner.schneider_06

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