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Development. 2018 Oct 29;145(21). pii: dev162388. doi: 10.1242/dev.162388.

Long non-coding RNAs regulate Wnt signaling during feather regeneration.

Author information

Institute of Life Sciences, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, Fujian, China.
Bioinformatics Institute, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore 138671.
Institute of Life Sciences, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, Fujian, China


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein coding transcripts that are involved in a broad range of biological processes. Here, we examine the functional role of lncRNAs in feather regeneration. RNA-seq profiling of the regenerating feather blastema revealed that Wnt signaling is among the most active pathways during feather regeneration, with Wnt ligands and their inhibitors showing distinct expression patterns. Co-expression analysis identified hundreds of lncRNAs with similar expression patterns to either the Wnt ligands (the Lwnt group) or their downstream target genes (the Twnt group). Among these, we randomly picked two lncRNAs in the Lwnt group and three lncRNAs in the Twnt group to validate their expression and function. Members in the Twnt group regulated feather regeneration and axis formation, whereas members in the Lwnt group showed no obvious phenotype. Further analysis confirmed that the three Twnt group members inhibit Wnt signal transduction and, at the same time, are downstream target genes of this pathway. Our results suggest that the feather regeneration model can be utilized to systematically annotate the functions of lncRNAs in the chicken genome.


Chicken; Feather follicle; LncRNA; Regeneration; Wnt signaling


Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing or financial interests.

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