Skoltech researcher Aleksandra Galitsyna has co-authored a paper “Promoter and enhancer RNAs regulate chromatin reorganization and activation of miR-10b/HOXD locus, and neoplastic transformation in glioma” that has been recently published in Molecular Cell journal. The study is focused on miRNA miR-10b that is silenced in normal neuroglial cells of the brain but commonly activated in glioma, where it assumes an essential tumor-promoting role. The scientists demonstrate that the entire miR-10b-hosting HOXD locus is activated in glioma via the cis-acting mechanism involving 3D chromatin reorganization and CTCF-cohesin-mediated looping. This mechanism requires two interacting long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), HOXD-AS2 and LINC01116, one associated with HOXD3/HOXD4/miR-10b promoter and another with the remote enhancer. Knockdown of either lncRNA in glioma cells alters CTCF and cohesin binding, abolishes chromatin looping, inhibits the expression of all genes within HOXD locus, and leads to glioma cell death. Full text of the paper is available here.