Integrative modeling of lncRNA-chromatin interaction maps reveals diverse mechanisms of nuclear retention

Shayan Tabe-Bordbar, Saurabh Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Many long non-coding RNAs, known to be involved in transcriptional regulation, are enriched in the nucleus and interact with chromatin. However, their mechanisms of chromatin interaction and the served cellular functions are poorly understood. We sought to characterize the mechanisms of lncRNA nuclear retention by systematically mapping the sequence and chromatin features that distinguish lncRNA-interacting genomic segments. Results: We found DNA 5-mer frequencies to be predictive of chromatin interactions for all lncRNAs, suggesting sequence-specificity as a global theme in the interactome. Sequence features representing protein-DNA and protein-RNA binding motifs revealed potential mechanisms for specific lncRNAs. Complementary to these global themes, transcription-related features and DNA-RNA triplex formation potential were noted to be highly predictive for two mutually exclusive sets of lncRNAs. DNA methylation was also noted to be a significant predictor, but only when combined with other epigenomic features. Conclusions: Taken together, our statistical findings suggest that a group of lncRNAs interacts with transcriptionally inactive chromatin through triplex formation, whereas another group interacts with transcriptionally active regions and is involved in DNA Damage Response (DDR) through formation of R-loops. Curiously, we observed a strong pattern of enrichment of 5-mers in four potentially interacting entities: lncRNA-bound DNA tiles, lncRNAs, miRNA seed sequences, and repeat elements. This finding points to a broad sequence-based network of interactions that may underlie regulation of fundamental cellular functions. Overall, this study reveals diverse sequence and chromatin features related to lncRNA-chromatin interactions, suggesting potential mechanisms of nuclear retention and regulatory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number395
JournalBMC genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromatin interaction
  • DNA Damage Response
  • Long non-coding RNA
  • Machine learning
  • Nuclear localization
  • R-loop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrative modeling of lncRNA-chromatin interaction maps reveals diverse mechanisms of nuclear retention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this