PerspectiveRNA Function

RNA and dynamic nuclear organization

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Science  12 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6202, pp. 1240-1241
DOI: 10.1126/science.1252966

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The human genome consists of more than 2 m of linear DNA, which is packaged into a three-dimensional structure in the nucleus of each cell. To ensure proper cell-type–specific gene regulation, each cell must organize its DNA, RNA, and protein within the nucleus in ways that differ in each cell type. It had long been suspected that RNA itself might be a key organizing factor that shapes this dynamic nuclear floor plan (1), with recent research pointing to a role for nuclear-retained long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in organizing nuclear architecture. Here we provide a perspective on the classical and newly emerging role of RNA in this process.