Distinct MUNC lncRNA structural domains regulate transcription of different promyogenic factors

Academic Article


  • SummaryMany lncRNAs have been discovered using transcriptomic data, however, it is broadly unclear what fraction of lncRNAs are functional and what structural properties affect their phenotype. MUNC lncRNA, also known as DRReRNA, stimulates skeletal muscle differentiation. The prevailing hypothesis is that MUNC stimulates the Myod1 gene in cis as an enhancer RNA and stimulates expression of several other promyogenic genes in trans by recruiting the cohesin complex to their promoters. Experimental probing of the RNA structure revealed that MUNC contains multiple structural domains not detected by RNA structure prediction algorithms in the absence of experimental information. We discovered that these specific and structurally distinct domains are required for induction of different promyogenic genes, for binding at different genomic sites to regulate the expression of adjacent genes, and for binding the cohesin complex. Moreover, we found that induction of Myod1 or interaction with cohesin comprise only a subset of the broad regulatory impact of this lncRNA. Our study thus reveals unexpectedly complex, structure-driven functions for the MUNC lncRNA and emphasizes the importance of experimentally determined structures for understanding structure-function relationships in lncRNAs.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19960228
  • Author List

  • Przanowska RK; Weidmann CA; Saha S; Cichewicz MA; Jensen KN; Przanowski P; Irving PS; Guertin MJ; Weeks KM; Dutta A