Although a small number of the vast array of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have known effects on cellular processes, in general their contribution to development, differentiation and disease remains unknown. We have shown that some intragenic enhancers, when active, behave as alternative promoters producing lncRNA transcripts that are processed using the canonical signals of their host gene. More recently we have also analyzed intergenic lncRNAs to determine the extent to which they too might originate from intergenic enhancers. We find that intergenic lncRNAs in erythroid cells are almost evenly divided between those arising from enhancer-associated or promoter-associated elements and that these RNAs differ with respect to their conservation and tissue specificity. Of considerable interest we find that expression of lncRNAs arising from enhancers is associated with enhanced expression of neighboring protein coding genes during erythropoiesis.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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