JGM, RNA, Long Noncoding, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
Cell Rep 2022 Apr 19;39(3):110687
The p53-induced long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) lincRNA-p21 is proposed to act in cis to promote p53-dependent expression of the neighboring cell cycle gene, Cdkn1a/p21. The molecular mechanism through which the transcribed lincRNA-p21 regulatory locus activates p21 expression remains poorly understood. To elucidate the functional elements of cis-regulation, we generate a series of genetic models that disrupt DNA regulatory elements, the transcription of lincRNA-p21, or the accumulation of mature lincRNA-p21. Unexpectedly, we determine that full-length transcription, splicing, and accumulation of lincRNA-p21 are dispensable for the chromatin organization of the locus and for cis-regulation. Instead, we find that production of lincRNA-p21 through conserved regions in exon 1 of lincRNA-p21 promotes cis-activation. These findings demonstrate that the activation of nascent transcription from this lncRNA locus, but not the generation or accumulation of a mature lncRNA transcript, is necessary to enact local gene expression control.
Functional elements of the cis-regulatory lincRNA-p21. Cell Rep 2022 Apr 19;39(3):110687