Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2015 Mar;11(3):151-60. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2014.229. Epub 2015 Jan 6.

Long non-coding RNAs as regulators of the endocrine system.

Author information

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, MA 02142, USA.
Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders, Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, 8 College Road, 169857, Singapore.


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a large and diverse group of RNAs that are often lineage-specific and that regulate multiple biological functions. Many are nuclear and are essential parts of ribonucleoprotein complexes that modify chromatin segments and establish active or repressive chromatin states; others are cytosolic and regulate the stability of mRNA or act as microRNA sponges. This Review summarizes the current knowledge of lncRNAs as regulators of the endocrine system, with a focus on the identification and mode of action of several endocrine-important lncRNAs. We highlight lncRNAs that have a role in the development and function of pancreatic β cells, white and brown adipose tissue, and other endocrine organs, and discuss the involvement of these molecules in endocrine dysfunction (for example, diabetes mellitus). We also address the associations of lncRNAs with nuclear receptors involved in major hormonal signalling pathways, such as estrogen and androgen receptors, and the relevance of these associations in certain endocrine cancers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center