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Induction of long noncoding RNA MALAT1 in hypoxic mice

Authors Lelli A, Nolan K, Santambrogio S, Gonçalves AF, Schönenberger M, Guinot A, Frew I, Marti H, Hoogewijs D, Wenger R

Received 16 June 2015

Accepted for publication 19 August 2015

Published 8 October 2015 Volume 2015:3 Pages 45—52


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Dörthe Katschinski

Aurelia Lelli,1,2,* Karen A Nolan,1,2,* Sara Santambrogio,1,2 Ana Filipa Gonçalves,1,2 Miriam J Schönenberger,1,2 Anna Guinot,1,2 Ian J Frew,1,2 Hugo H Marti,3 David Hoogewijs,1,2,4 Roland H Wenger1,2

1Institute of Physiology and Zurich Center for Human Physiology (ZIHP), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 2National Center of Competence in Research "Kidney.CH", Zurich, Switzerland; 3Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; 4Institute of Physiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Long thought to be “junk DNA”, in recent years it has become clear that a substantial fraction of intergenic genomic DNA is actually transcribed, forming long noncoding RNA (lncRNA). Like mRNA, lncRNA can also be spliced, capped, and polyadenylated, affecting a multitude of biological processes. While the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of lncRNAs have just begun to be elucidated, the conditional regulation of lncRNAs remains largely unexplored. In genome-wide studies our group and others recently found hypoxic transcriptional induction of a subset of lncRNAs, whereof nuclear-enriched abundant/autosomal transcript 1 (NEAT1) and metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) appear to be the lncRNAs most ubiquitously and most strongly induced by hypoxia in cultured cells. Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2 rather than HIF-1 seems to be the preferred transcriptional activator of these lncRNAs. For the first time, we also found strong induction primarily of MALAT1 in organs of mice exposed to inspiratory hypoxia. Most abundant hypoxic levels of MALAT1 lncRNA were found in kidney and testis. In situ hybridization revealed that the hypoxic induction in the kidney was confined to proximal rather than distal tubular epithelial cells. Direct oxygen-dependent regulation of MALAT1 lncRNA was confirmed using isolated primary kidney epithelial cells. In summary, high expression levels and acute, profound hypoxic induction of MALAT1 suggest a hitherto unrecognized role of this lncRNA in renal proximal tubular function.

Keywords: hypoxia-inducible factor, kidney, oxygen, proximal tubule, testis

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