Endocrinology Journal Article

LncRNAs in Gonadotrope Function

August 09, 2021
 

Tal Refael and Philippa Melamed
Endocrinology, Volume 162, Issue 8, August 2021, bqab116
https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqab116

Abstract

The world of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has opened up massive new prospects in understanding the regulation of gene expression. Not only are there seemingly almost infinite numbers of lncRNAs in the mammalian cell, but they have highly diverse mechanisms of action. In the nucleus, some are chromatin-associated, transcribed from transcriptional enhancers (eRNAs) and/or direct changes in the epigenetic landscape with profound effects on gene expression. The pituitary gonadotrope is responsible for activation of reproduction through production and secretion of appropriate levels of the gonadotropic hormones. As such, it exemplifies a cell whose function is defined through changes in developmental and temporal patterns of gene expression, including those that are hormonally induced. Roles for diverse distal regulatory elements and eRNAs in gonadotrope biology have only just begun to emerge. Here, we will present an overview of the different kinds of lncRNAs that alter gene expression, and what is known about their roles in regulating some of the key gonadotrope genes. We will also review various screens that have detected differentially expressed pituitary lncRNAs associated with changes in reproductive state and those whose expression is found to play a role in gonadotrope-derived nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. We hope to shed light on this exciting new field, emphasize the open questions, and encourage research to illuminate the roles of lncRNAs in various endocrine systems.

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