Beyond being the product of gene expression, RNA can also influence the regulation of chromatin. The majority of the human genome has the capacity to be transcribed and the majority of the non-protein-coding transcripts made by RNA Polymerase II are enriched in the nucleus. Many chromatin regulators can bind to these ncRNAs in the nucleus; in some cases, there are clear examples of direct RNA-mediated chromatin regulation mechanisms stemming from these interactions, while others have yet to be determined. Recent studies have highlighted examples of chromatin regulation via RNA matchmaking, a term we use broadly here to describe intermolecular base-pairing interactions between one RNA molecule and an RNA or DNA match. This review provides examples of RNA matchmaking that regulates chromatin processes and summarizes the technical approaches used to capture these events.
The plasma membrane of lymphocytes is highly compartmentalized in so-called nanodomains or protein islands. Proteins such as Caveolin-1 (pink), tetraspanins (blue) or flotillins (violet) define these protein islands and thereby regulate the functioning of the immune system. In this issue (see pages 2387–2397), Schaffer and Minguet discuss the importance of these protein islands regarding lymphocyte activation and the development of immunopathologies. This cover artwork has been created by Susana Minguet.
RNA matchmaking in chromatin regulation
Stephen K. Wu, Justin T. Roberts, Maggie M. Balas, Aaron M. Johnson; RNA matchmaking in chromatin regulation. Biochem Soc Trans 18 December 2020; 48 (6): 2467–2481. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20191225
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