Hu G, Tang Q, Sharma S, Yu F, Escobar TM, Muljo SA, Zhu J, Zhao K
Although intergenic long noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) have been linked to gene regulation in various tissues, little is known about lincRNA transcriptomes in the T cell lineages. Here we identified 1,524 lincRNA clusters in 42 T cell samples, from early T cell progenitors to terminally differentiated helper T cell subsets. Our analysis revealed highly dynamic and cell-specific expression patterns for lincRNAs during T cell differentiation. These lincRNAs were located in genomic regions enriched for genes that encode proteins with immunoregulatory functions. Many were bound and regulated by the key transcription factors T-bet, GATA-3, STAT4 and STAT6. We found that the lincRNA LincR-Ccr2-5'AS, together with GATA-3, was an essential component of a regulatory circuit in gene expression specific to the TH2 subset of helper T cells and was important for the migration of TH2 cells.