LincRNA-p21 is a long intergenic non-coding RNA (lincRNA) involved in the p53-mediated stress response. We sequenced the human lincRNA-p21 (hLincRNA-p21) and found that it has a single exon that includes inverted repeat Alu elements (IRAlus). Sense and antisense Alu elements fold independently of one another into a secondary structure that is conserved in lincRNA-p21 among primates. Moreover, the structures formed by IRAlus are involved in the localization of hLincRNA-p21 in the nucleus, where hLincRNA-p21 colocalizes with paraspeckles. Our results underscore the importance of IRAlus structures for the function of hLincRNA-p21 during the stress response.
© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.