Celiac.com 04/11/2016 - Growing evidence suggests that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in gene expression, especially that which influences inflammation. For example, researchers recently found that one lncRNA, lnc13, suppresses inflammatory gene expression in macrophages by interacting with proteins that regulate chromatin accessibility.
Reduced levels of lnc13 in intestinal tissue from individuals with celiac disease suggests that lnc13 might also play a role in the development of immune-mediated diseases. In a recent issue of Science, a research team reports on the identification and characterization of a lncRNA, lnc13, that harbors a celiac disease–associated haplotype block and represses expression of certain inflammatory genes under homeostatic conditions.
Their article describes how Lnc13 regulates gene expression by binding to hnRNPD, a member of a family of ubiquitously expressed heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs). Upon stimulation, lnc13 levels decrease, thereby allowing increased expression of the repressed genes.
The fact that Lnc13 levels are substantially decreased in small intestinal biopsy samples from patients with celiac disease suggests that down-regulation of lnc13 may contribute to the inflammation associated with celiac disease.
Furthermore, the lnc13 disease-associated variant binds hnRNPD less efficiently than its wild-type counterpart, thus helping to explain how these single-nucleotide polymorphisms contribute to celiac disease.
This discovery could lead to future treatment methods for celiac disease.