Loyal A. Goff, Ph.D presents his research on: Genetic Analysis of the Physiological Roles for lncRNAs in Development
Abstract: Many studies are uncovering functional roles for long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), yet few have been tested for in vivo relevance through genetic ablation in animal models. To investigate the functional relevance of lncRNAs in various physiological conditions, we have developed a collection of 18 lncRNA knockout strains in which the locus is maintained transcriptionally active. Several of these lncRNA mutant mice demonstrated lethal phenotypes with varying degrees of penetrance, while others exhibited significant growth and/or developmental defects. This study, in parallel with several others, represents the first steps towards a more detailed understanding of lncRNA biology, physiological relevance, and mechanism. We will discuss the importance of in vivo genetic analysis for lncRNA characterization and describe some of the recent successes and challenges for these types of studies. lncRNAs play critical roles in vivo and we will outline a framework and impetus for future large-scale functional investigation into the roles of lncRNA molecules.