Article

Identification and Properties of 1,119 Candidate LincRNA Loci in the Drosophila melanogaster Genome

MRC Functional Genomics Unit, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Genome Biology and Evolution (Impact Factor: 4.53). 03/2012; 4(4):427-42. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evs020
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The functional repertoire of long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) molecules has begun to be elucidated in mammals. Determining the biological relevance and potential gene regulatory mechanisms of these enigmatic molecules would be expedited in a more tractable model organism, such as Drosophila melanogaster. To this end, we defined a set of 1,119 putative lincRNA genes in D. melanogaster using modENCODE whole transcriptome (RNA-seq) data. A large majority (1.1 of 1.3 Mb; 85%) of these bases were not previously reported by modENCODE as being transcribed. Significant selective constraint on the sequences of these loci predicts that virtually all have sustained functionality across the Drosophila clade. We observe biases in lincRNA genomic locations and expression profiles that are consistent with some of these lincRNAs being involved in the regulation of neighboring protein-coding genes with developmental functions. We identify lincRNAs that may be important in the developing nervous system and in male-specific organs, such as the testes. LincRNA loci were also identified whose positions, relative to nearby protein-coding loci, are equivalent between D. melanogaster and mouse. This study predicts that the genomes of not only vertebrates, such as mammals, but also an invertebrate (fruit fly) harbor large numbers of lincRNA loci. Our findings now permit exploitation of Drosophila genetics for the investigation of lincRNA mechanisms, including lincRNAs with potential functional analogues in mammals.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Andrew Bassett, Jun 16, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
178 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important developmental regulators in bilaterian animals. A correlation has been claimed between the lncRNA repertoire expansion and morphological complexity in vertebrate evolution. However, this claim has not been tested by examining morphologically simple animals. Here, we undertake a systematic investigation of lncRNAs in the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, a morphologically-simple, early-branching metazoan. We combine RNA-Seq data across multiple developmental stages of Amphimedon with a filtering pipeline to conservatively predict 2,935 lncRNAs. These include intronic overlapping lncRNAs, exonic antisense overlapping lncRNAs, long intergenic ncRNAs and precursors for small RNAs. Sponge lncRNAs are remarkably similar to their bilaterian counterparts in being relatively short with few exons and having low primary sequence conservation relative to protein-coding genes. As in bilaterians, a majority of sponge lncRNAs exhibit typical hallmarks of regulatory molecules, including high temporal specificity and dynamic developmental expression. Specific lncRNA expression profiles correlate tightly with conserved protein-coding genes likely involved in a range of developmental and physiological processes, such as the Wnt signaling pathway. Although the majority of Amphimedon lncRNAs appear to be taxonomically-restricted with no identifiable orthologues, we find a few cases of conservation between demosponges in lncRNAs that are antisense to coding sequences. Based on the high similarity in the structure, organisation and dynamic expression of sponge lncRNAs to their bilaterian counterparts, we propose that these non-coding RNAs are an ancient feature of the metazoan genome. These results are consistent with lncRNAs regulating the development of animals, regardless of their level of morphological complexity.
    Molecular Biology and Evolution 05/2015; DOI:10.1093/molbev/msv117 · 14.31 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been defined as mRNA-like transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides that lack significant protein-coding potential, and many of them constitute scaffolds for ribonucleoprotein complexes with critical roles in epigenetic regulation. Various lncRNAs have been implicated in the modulation of chromatin structure, transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene regulation, and regulation of genomic stability in mammals, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Drosophila melanogaster. The purpose of this study is to identify the lncRNA landscape in the malaria vector An. gambiae and assess the evolutionary conservation of lncRNAs and their secondary structures across the Anopheles genus. Using deep RNA sequencing of multiple Anopheles gambiae life stages, we have identified 2,949 lncRNAs and more than 300 previously unannotated putative protein-coding genes. The lncRNAs exhibit differential expression profiles across life stages and adult genders. We find that across the genus Anopheles, lncRNAs display much lower sequence conservation than protein-coding genes. Additionally, we find that lncRNA secondary structure is highly conserved within the Gambiae complex, but diverges rapidly across the rest of the genus Anopheles. This study offers one of the first lncRNA secondary structure analyses in vector insects. Our description of lncRNAs in An. gambiae offers the most comprehensive genome-wide insights to date into lncRNAs in this vector mosquito, and defines a set of potential targets for the development of vector-based interventions that may further curb the human malaria burden in disease-endemic countries.
    BMC Genomics 04/2015; 16(1):337. DOI:10.1186/s12864-015-1507-3 · 4.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Mrhl RNA is a nuclear lncRNA encoded in the mouse genome and negatively regulates Wnt signaling in spermatogonial cells through p68/Ddx5 RNA helicase. Mrhl RNA is present in the chromatin fraction of mouse spermatogonial Gc1-Spg cells and genome wide chromatin occupancy of mrhl RNA by ChOP (Chromatin oligo affinity precipitation) technique identified 1370 statistically significant genomic loci. Among these, genes at 37 genomic loci also showed altered expression pattern upon mrhl RNA down regulation which are referred to as GRPAM (Genes Regulated by Physical Association of Mrhl RNA). p68 interacted with mrhl RNA in chromatin at these GRPAM loci. p68 silencing drastically reduced mrhl RNA occupancy at 27 GRPAM loci and also perturbed the expression of GRPAM suggesting a role for p68 mediated mrhl RNA occupancy in regulating GRPAM expression. Wnt3a ligand treatment of Gc1-Spg cells down regulated mrhl RNA expression and also perturbed expression of these 27 GRPAM genes that included genes regulating Wnt signaling pathway and spermatogenesis, one of them being Sox8, a developmentally important transcription factor. We also identified interacting proteins of mrhl RNA associated chromatin fraction which included Pc4, a chromatin organizer protein and hnRNP A/B and hnRNP A2/B1 which have been shown to be associated with lincRNA-Cox2 function in gene regulation. Our findings in the Gc1-Spg cell line also correlate with the results from analysis of mouse testicular tissue which further highlights the in vivo physiological significance of mrhl RNA in the context of gene regulation during mammalian spermatogenesis.