miRNA-mediated crosstalk between transcripts: The missing "linc"?

Bioessays. 2016 Mar;38(3):295-301. doi: 10.1002/bies.201500148. Epub 2016 Feb 2.


Recently, transcriptome-wide sequencing data have revealed the pervasiveness of intergenic long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcription. Subsets of lncRNAs have been demonstrated to crosstalk with and post-transcriptionally regulate mRNAs in a microRNA (miRNA)-dependent manner. Referred to as long noncoding competitive endogenous RNAs (lnceRNAs), these transcripts can contribute to diverse aspects of organismal and cellular biology, likely by providing a hitherto unrecognized layer of gene expression regulation. Here, we discuss the biological relevance of post-transcriptional regulation by lnceRNAs, provide insights on recent advances in the understanding of lnceRNA regulatory networks, and speculate on molecular factors that facilitate miRNA-dependent crosstalk between lnceRNAs and other transcripts.

Keywords: ceRNA; competitive endogenous RNA; crosstalk; lncRNA; long noncoding RNA; microRNA; post-transcriptional regulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger