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Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 30;18(12). pii: E2578. doi: 10.3390/ijms18122578.

Long Non-Coding RNAs in Metabolic Organs and Energy Homeostasis.

Author information

1
Institute for Diabetes and Cancer (IDC), Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany. maude.giroud@helmholtz-muenchen.de.
2
Joint Heidelberg-IDC Translational Diabetes Program, Heidelberg University Hospital, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. maude.giroud@helmholtz-muenchen.de.
3
Germany Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), 85764 Neuherberg, Germany. maude.giroud@helmholtz-muenchen.de.
4
Institute for Diabetes and Cancer (IDC), Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany. marcel.scheideler@helmholtz-muenchen.de.
5
Joint Heidelberg-IDC Translational Diabetes Program, Heidelberg University Hospital, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany. marcel.scheideler@helmholtz-muenchen.de.
6
Germany Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), 85764 Neuherberg, Germany. marcel.scheideler@helmholtz-muenchen.de.

Abstract

Single cell organisms can surprisingly exceed the number of human protein-coding genes, which are thus not at the origin of the complexity of an organism. In contrast, the relative amount of non-protein-coding sequences increases consistently with organismal complexity. Moreover, the mammalian transcriptome predominantly comprises non-(protein)-coding RNAs (ncRNA), of which the long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) constitute the most abundant part. lncRNAs are highly species- and tissue-specific with very versatile modes of action in accordance with their binding to a large spectrum of molecules and their diverse localization. lncRNAs are transcriptional regulators adding an additional regulatory layer in biological processes and pathophysiological conditions. Here, we review lncRNAs affecting metabolic organs with a focus on the liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, brain, and adipose organ. In addition, we will discuss the impact of lncRNAs on metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes. In contrast to the substantial number of lncRNA loci in the human genome, the functionally characterized lncRNAs are just the tip of the iceberg. So far, our knowledge concerning lncRNAs in energy homeostasis is still in its infancy, meaning that the rest of the iceberg is a treasure chest yet to be discovered.

KEYWORDS:

adipose tissue; cardiac muscle; energy homeostasis; liver; lncRNA; metabolic organs; metabolism; non-coding RNA; pancreas; skeletal muscle

PMID:
29189723
PMCID:
PMC5751181
DOI:
10.3390/ijms18122578
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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