Polypurine-repeat-containing RNAs: A novel class of long non-coding RNA in mammalian cells

Ruiping Zheng, Zhen Shen, Vidisha Tripathi, Zhenyu Xuan, Susan M. Freier, C. Frank Bennett, Supriya G. Prasanth, Kannanganattu V. Prasanth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In higher eukaryotic cells, long non-protein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been implicated in a wide array of cellular functions. Cell-or tissue-specific expression of lncRNA genes encoded in the mammalian genome is thought to contribute to the complex gene networks needed to regulate cellular function. Here, we have identified a novel species of polypurine triplet repeat-rich lncRNAs, designated as GAA repeat-containing RNAs (GRC-RNAs), that localize to numerous punctate foci in the mammalian interphase nuclei. GRC-RNAs consist of a heterogeneous population of RNAs, ranging in size from ∼1.5 kb to ∼4 kb and localize to subnuclear domains, several of which associate with GAA.TTC-repeat-containing genomic regions. GRC-RNAs are components of the nuclear matrix and interact with various nuclear matrix-associated proteins. In mitotic cells, GRC-RNAs form distinct cytoplasmic foci and, in telophase and G1 cells, localize to the midbody, a structure involved in accurate cell division. Differentiation of tissue culture cells leads to a decrease in the number of GRC-RNA nuclear foci, albeit with an increase in size as compared with proliferating cells. Conversely, the number of GRC-RNA foci increases during cellular transformation. We propose that nuclear GRC-RNAs represent a novel family of mammalian lncRNAs that might play crucial roles in the cell nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3734-3744
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


  • Midbody
  • Non-coding RNAs
  • Nuclear domains
  • Nuclear matrix
  • Triplex repeats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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