Several nuclear localised intergenic long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been ascribed regulatory roles in transcriptional control and their number is growing rapidly. Initially, these transcripts were shown to function locally, near their sites of synthesis, by regulating the expression of neighbouring genes. More recently, lncRNAs have been demonstrated to interact with chromatin at several thousand different locations across multiple chromosomes and to modulate large-scale gene expression programs. Although the molecular mechanisms involved in targeting lncRNAs to distal binding sites remain poorly understood, the spatial organisation of the genome may have a role in specifying lncRNA function. Recent advances indicate that intergenic lncRNAs may exert more widespread effects on gene regulation than previously anticipated.
Keywords: RNA–protein interactions; chromatin conformation; long noncoding RNA; transcription.
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