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Science. 2014 Apr 18;344(6181):310-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1251456.

The STAT3-binding long noncoding RNA lnc-DC controls human dendritic cell differentiation.

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National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology and Institute of Immunology, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China.


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in diverse biological processes; however, few have been identified that regulate immune cell differentiation and function. Here, we identified lnc-DC, which was exclusively expressed in human conventional dendritic cells (DCs). Knockdown of lnc-DC impaired DC differentiation from human monocytes in vitro and from mouse bone marrow cells in vivo and reduced capacity of DCs to stimulate T cell activation. lnc-DC mediated these effects by activating the transcription factor STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3). lnc-DC bound directly to STAT3 in the cytoplasm, which promoted STAT3 phosphorylation on tyrosine-705 by preventing STAT3 binding to and dephosphorylation by SHP1. Our work identifies a lncRNA that regulates DC differentiation and also broadens the known mechanisms of lncRNA action.

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