Long noncoding RNAs in innate and adaptive immunity

Curr Opin Immunol. 2014 Feb;26:140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2013.12.001. Epub 2013 Dec 22.


The differentiation and activation of both innate and adaptive immune cells is highly dependent on a coordinated set of transcriptional and post-transcriptional events. Chromatin-modifiers and transcription factors regulate the accessibility and transcription of immune genes, respectively. Immune cells also express miRNA and RNA-binding proteins that provide an additional layer of regulation at the mRNA level. However, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which have been primarily studied in the context of genomic imprinting, cancer, and cell differentiation, are now emerging as important regulators of immune cell differentiation and activation. In this review, we provide a brief overview of lncRNAs, their known functions in immunity, and discuss their potential to be more broadly involved in other aspects of the immune response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Genomic Imprinting / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics*
  • Introns / genetics
  • Introns / immunology
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / immunology
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • RNA Splicing / genetics
  • RNA Splicing / immunology
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / immunology*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic / immunology


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding