Our bioRxiv pre-print for a new story is available here.
This story emerged from our efforts to understand whether there are general principles that might explain the functions of many lncRNAs. Through genetic dissection of 12 genomic loci that produce lncRNAs, we found that many regulate the expression of a neighboring gene. Surprisingly, these functions did not require the specific lncRNA transcripts themselves and instead involved mechanisms associated with lncRNA transcription and production. These mechanisms appear to be general properties of genes, both coding and noncoding: loci encoding mRNAs also frequently regulate a neighboring gene. These mechanisms may explain the function and evolution of many genomic loci that encode lncRNAs, and further suggest that the connectivity of local gene regulatory networks is more complex than we anticipated.