ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140509-3
An evolutionarily conserved long noncoding RNA TUNA controls pluripotency and neural lineage commitment
Lin, N., Chang, K.Y., Li, Z., Gates, K., Rana, Z.A., Dang, J., Zhang, D., Han, T., Yang, C.S., Cunningham, T.J., Head, S.R., Duester, G., Dong, P.D., and Rana, T.M.
Date: 2014
Source: Molecular Cell   53(6): 1005-1019 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Dong, P. Duc, Gates, Keith, Zhang, Danhua
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 4/genetics
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 4/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease/genetics*
  • Huntington Disease/metabolism
  • Huntington Disease/pathology
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Motor Activity
  • Neurons/cytology
  • Neurons/metabolism*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors/genetics
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors/metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish/growth & development
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
PubMed: 24530304 Full text @ Mol. Cell

Here, we generated a genome-scale shRNA library targeting long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) in the mouse. We performed an unbiased loss-of-function study in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and identified 20 lincRNAs involved in the maintenance of pluripotency. Among these, TUNA (Tcl1 Upstream Neuron-Associated lincRNA, or megamind) was required for pluripotency and formed a complex with three RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). The TUNA-RBP complex was detected at the promoters of Nanog, Sox2, and Fgf4, and knockdown of TUNA or the individual RBPs inhibited neural differentiation of mESCs. TUNA showed striking evolutionary conservation of both sequence- and CNS-restricted expression in vertebrates. Accordingly, knockdown of tuna in zebrafish caused impaired locomotor function, and TUNA expression in the brains of Huntington’s disease patients was significantly associated with disease grade. Our results suggest that the lincRNA TUNA plays a vital role in pluripotency and neural differentiation of ESCs and is associated with neurological function of adult vertebrates.