Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) are a class of endogenous, non-protein coding RNAs that are increasingly being associated with various cellular functions and diseases. Yet, despite their ubiquity and abundance, only a minute fraction of these molecules has an assigned function. LncRNAs show tissue-, cell-, and developmental stage-specific expression, and are differentially expressed under physiological or pathological conditions. The role of lncRNAs in the lineage commitment of immune cells and shaping immune responses is becoming evident. Myeloid cells and lymphoid cells are two major classes of immune systems that work in concert to initiate and amplify innate and adaptive immunity in vertebrates. In this review, we provide mechanistic roles of lncRNA through which these noncoding RNAs can directly participate in the differentiation, polarization, and activation of myeloid (monocyte, macrophage, and dendritic cells) and lymphoid cells (T cells, B cells, and NK cells). While our knowledge on the role of lncRNA in immune cell differentiation and function has improved in the past decade, further studies are required to unravel the biological role of lncRNAs and identify novel mechanisms of lncRNA functions in immune cells. Harnessing the regulatory potential of lncRNAs can provide novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets in treating immune cell related diseases.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited