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Cell metabolism

Human Pancreatic β Cell lncRNAs Control Cell-Specific Regulatory Networks.


PMID 28041957

Abstract

Recent studies have uncovered thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in human pancreatic βxa0cells. β cell lncRNAs are often cell type specific and exhibit dynamic regulation during differentiation or upon changing glucose concentrations. Although these features hint at a role of lncRNAs in β cell gene regulation and diabetes, the function of β cell lncRNAs remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the function of β cell-specific lncRNAs and transcription factors using transcript knockdowns and co-expression network analysis. This revealed lncRNAs that function in concert with transcription factors to regulate β cell-specific transcriptional networks. We further demonstrate that the lncRNA PLUTO affects local 3D chromatin structure and transcription of PDX1, encoding a key β cell transcription factor, and that both PLUTO and PDX1 are downregulated in islets from donors with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance. These results implicate lncRNAs in the regulation of β cell-specific transcription factor networks.