1 Computational and RNA Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)3 Guy's Hospital4 Computational and RNA Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
The mouse and human brain express a large number of noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). Some of these are known to participate in neural progenitor cell fate determination, cell differentiation, neuronal and synaptic plasticity and transposable elements derived ncRNAs contribute to somatic variation. Dysregulation of specific long ncRNAs (lncRNAs) has been shown in neuro-developmental and neuro-degenerative diseases thus highlighting the importance of lncRNAs in brain function. Even though it is known that lncRNAs are expressed in cells at low levels in a tissue-specific manner, bioinformatics analyses of brain-specific ncRNAs has not been performed. We analyzed previously published custom microarray ncRNA expression data generated from twelve human tissues to identify tissue-specific ncRNAs. We find that among the 12 tissues studied, brain has the largest number of ncRNAs. Our analyses show that genes in the vicinity of brain-specific ncRNAs are significantly up regulated in the brain. Investigations of repeat representation show that brain-specific ncRNAs are significantly more likely to originate in repeat regions especially DNA/TcMar-Tigger compared with non-tissue-specific ncRNAs. We find SINE/Alus depleted from brain-specific dataset when compared with non-tissue-specific ncRNAs. Our data provide a bioinformatics comparison between brain-specific and non tissue-specific ncRNAs. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: The Non-coding RNA Revolution.
International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 2014, Vol 54, p. 331-337