There is a Have you seen? (February 2012) associated with this Article.
Human long non-coding RNAs promote pluripotency and neuronal differentiation by association with chromatin modifiers and transcription factors
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2012 European Molecular Biology Organization
The EMBO Journal
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 522–533, February 1, 2012
How to Cite
Ng, S.-Y., Johnson, R. and Stanton, L. W. (2012), Human long non-coding RNAs promote pluripotency and neuronal differentiation by association with chromatin modifiers and transcription factors. The EMBO Journal, 31: 522–533. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2011.459
- Issue published online: 1 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 23 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 16 JUL 2011
- long non-coding RNAs;
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a numerous class of newly discovered genes in the human genome, which have been proposed to be key regulators of biological processes, including stem cell pluripotency and neurogenesis. However, at present very little functional characterization of lncRNAs in human differentiation has been carried out. In the present study, we address this using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) as a paradigm for pluripotency and neuronal differentiation. With a newly developed method, hESCs were robustly and efficiently differentiated into neurons, and we profiled the expression of thousands of lncRNAs using a custom-designed microarray. Some hESC-specific lncRNAs involved in pluripotency maintenance were identified, and shown to physically interact with SOX2, and PRC2 complex component, SUZ12. Using a similar approach, we identified lncRNAs required for neurogenesis. Knockdown studies indicated that loss of any of these lncRNAs blocked neurogenesis, and immunoprecipitation studies revealed physical association with REST and SUZ12. This study indicates that lncRNAs are important regulators of pluripotency and neurogenesis, and represents important evidence for an indispensable role of lncRNAs in human brain development.