Yamanaka Y, Faghihi MA, Magistri M, Alvarez-Garcia O, Lotz M, Wahlestedt C
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), including natural antisense transcripts (NATs), are expressed more extensively than previously anticipated and have widespread roles in regulating gene expression. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms of action of the majority of NATs remain largely unknown. Here, we identify a NAT of low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (Lrp1), referred to as Lrp1-AS, that negatively regulates Lrp1 expression. We show that Lrp1-AS directly binds to high-mobility group box 2 (Hmgb2) and inhibits the activity of Hmgb2 to enhance Srebp1a-dependent transcription of Lrp1. Short oligonucleotides targeting Lrp1-AS inhibit the interaction of antisense transcript and Hmgb2 protein and increase Lrp1 expression by enhancing Hmgb2 activity. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of brain tissue samples from Alzheimer's disease patients and aged-matched controls revealed upregulation of LRP1-AS and downregulation of LRP1. Our data suggest a regulatory mechanism whereby a NAT interacts with a ubiquitous chromatin-associated protein to modulate its activity in a locus-specific fashion.