NEURODEVELOPMENT

A long noncoding RNA for neuronal differentiation

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Science  22 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6297, pp. 360-361
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6297.360-d

Noncoding RNAs regulate gene expression. Rani et al. used bioinformatic analysis to identify a long noncoding RNA with a role in neurodevelopment, LncND, that is specific to primates. Human neural progenitor cells expressed higher amounts of LncND compared with mature neurons. During neural development, LncND appears to act as a sponge for the microRNA miR-143-3p, which represses the expression of Notch proteins, key regulators of brain development. In a human cell line, reducing LncND, which allows more loose miR-143-3p and therefore reduces Notch signaling, caused precocious neuronal differentiation. In humans, deletions or mutations in LncND and its surrounding DNA are linked to multiple neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability, suggesting the importance of LncND to human disease.

Expansion of radial glial cells in a mouse brain overexpressing LncND

PHOTO: RANI ET AL., NEURON (15 JUNE 2016) © 2016 CELL PRESS

Neuron 90, 1174 (2016).

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