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Noncoding RNA transcription alters chromosomal topology to promote isotype-specific class switch recombination

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Science Immunology  07 Feb 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 44, eaay5864
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aay5864

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“Lnc”ing class switch recombination

Besides protein-coding transcripts, a number of transcripts, including microRNAs and ribosomal RNAs, have noncoding functions. One of the less understood classes of noncoding transcripts are long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Rothschild et al. have identified lncRNA-CSRIgA, an lncRNA ~2.6 megabases downstream of immunoglobulin heavy-chain locus, to be a regulator of class switch recombination (CSR). Deletion of lncRNA-CSRIgA impaired class switching in B cells, particularly to the IgA isotype. Deletion of the genomic region encoding lncRNA-CSRIgA not only abrogates transcription but also results in loss of cis-regulatory functions. Lentiviral expression of lncRNA-CSRIgA rescued class switching in lncRNA-CSRIgA–deficient B cells, strongly suggesting that lncRNA does have a functional role in promoting class switch recombination.

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