Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as an important class of molecules that regulate gene expression at epigenetic, transcriptional, and post-transcriptional levels through a wide array of mechanisms. This regulation is of particular importance in the central nervous system (CNS), where precise modulation of gene expression is required for proper neuronal and glial production, connection and function. There are relatively few functional studies that characterize lncRNA mechanisms, but possible functions can often be inferred based on existing examples and the lncRNA's relative genomic position. In this review, we will discuss mechanisms of lncRNAs as predicted by genomic contexts and the possible impact on CNS development, function, and disease pathogenesis. There is no doubt that investigation of the mechanistic role of lncRNAs will open a new and exciting direction in studying CNS development and function.
Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.