A Novel Regulatory Player in the Innate Immune System: Long Non-Coding RNAs

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Sep 2;22(17):9535. doi: 10.3390/ijms22179535.


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) represent crucial transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulators during antimicrobial responses in the host innate immune system. Studies have shown that lncRNAs are expressed in a highly tissue- and cell-specific- manner and are involved in the differentiation and function of innate immune cells, as well as inflammatory and antiviral processes, through versatile molecular mechanisms. These lncRNAs function via the interactions with DNA, RNA, or protein in either cis or trans pattern, relying on their specific sequences or their transcriptions and processing. The dysregulation of lncRNA function is associated with various human non-infectious diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus. Here, we provide an overview of the regulation and mechanisms of lncRNA function in the development and differentiation of innate immune cells, and during the activation or repression of innate immune responses. These elucidations might be beneficial for the development of therapeutic strategies targeting inflammatory and innate immune-mediated diseases.

Keywords: inflammation; innate immune cells; innate immunity; long non-coding RNA; transcriptional regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Noncommunicable Diseases
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / physiology*


  • RNA, Long Noncoding