A significant portion of the human genome encodes genes that transcribe long nonprotein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). A large number of lncRNAs localize in the nucleus, either enriched on the chromatin or localized to specific subnuclear compartments. Nuclear lncRNAs participate in several biological processes, including chromatin organization, and transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene expression, and also act as structural scaffolds of nuclear domains. Here, we highlight recent studies demonstrating the role of lncRNAs in regulating gene expression and nuclear organization in mammalian cells. In addition, we update current knowledge about the involvement of the most-abundant and conserved lncRNA, metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1), in gene expression control.
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