A long noncoding RNA associated with susceptibility to celiac disease

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Science  01 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6281, pp. 91-95
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0467

Long noncoding RNAs in inflammation

Growing evidence suggests that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important modulators of gene expression. Castellanos-Rubio et al. identified a lncRNA, lnc13, that suppresses inflammatory gene expression in macrophages (see the Perspective by Huarte). Lnc13 interacts with proteins that regulate chromatin accessibility. Stimulating macrophages with a cell wall component from bacteria decreased expression of lnc13 and increased the expression of several inflammatory genes. Decreased levels of lnc13 in intestinal tissue from individuals with celiac disease hint that lnc13 may also play a role in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases.

Science, this issue p. 91; see also p. 43


Recent studies have implicated long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) as regulators of many important biological processes. Here we report on the identification and characterization of a lncRNA, lnc13, that harbors a celiac disease–associated haplotype block and represses expression of certain inflammatory genes under homeostatic conditions. Lnc13 regulates gene expression by binding to hnRNPD, a member of a family of ubiquitously expressed heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs). Upon stimulation, lnc13 levels are reduced, thereby allowing increased expression of the repressed genes. Lnc13 levels are significantly decreased in small intestinal biopsy samples from patients with celiac disease, which suggests that down-regulation of lnc13 may contribute to the inflammation seen in this disease. Furthermore, the lnc13 disease-associated variant binds hnRNPD less efficiently than its wild-type counterpart, thus helping to explain how these single-nucleotide polymorphisms contribute to celiac disease.

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