Long non-coding RNAs in the regulation of the immune response

Trends Immunol. 2014 Sep;35(9):408-19. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2014.07.005. Epub 2014 Aug 8.


It is increasingly clear that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulate a variety biological responses, and that they do so by a diverse range of mechanisms. In the field of immunology, recent publications have shown widespread changes in the expression of lncRNAs during the activation of the innate immune response and T cell development, differentiation, and activation. These lncRNAs control important aspects of immunity such as production of inflammatory mediators, differentiation, and cell migration through regulating protein-protein interactions or via their ability to basepair with RNA and DNA. We review the current understanding of the mechanism of action of these immune-related lncRNAs, discuss their impact on physiological and pathological processes, and highlight important areas of inquiry at the intersection between immunology and lncRNA biology.

Keywords: adaptive immune response; antisense; innate immune response; lincRNA, inflammation; long noncoding RNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Inflammation Mediators
  • RNA, Long Noncoding