Research ArticleMetabolism

Interrogation of nonconserved human adipose lincRNAs identifies a regulatory role of linc-ADAL in adipocyte metabolism

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Science Translational Medicine  20 Jun 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 446, eaar5987
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar5987

A possible linc to obesity

Both noncoding and evolutionarily nonconserved RNAs were long presumed to be nonfunctional but are increasingly reported to have biological roles. Here, Zhang et al. identified hundreds of putative long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) in human gluteal subcutaneous adipose tissue. Some of the nonconserved lincRNAs associated with active histone marks and transcription factor binding or were modulated by bariatric surgery–induced weight loss. The authors showed how one nonconserved lincRNA, linc-ADAL, helps regulate adipocyte differentiation and de novo lipogenesis by interacting with distinct nucleic and cytoplasmic factors. Further studies will be needed to show whether linc-ADAL could be a therapeutic target in obesity or other metabolic conditions.