LncRNAs interacting with the translation machinery contribute to human neuronal differentiation
LncRNAs are less conserved, yet more tissue and developmental-stage specific than mRNAs and are particularly enriched in the nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster, mouse and human. The function of cytoplasmic lncRNAs and their potential translation remains poorly understood. Here we performed Poly-Ribo-Seq to understand the interaction of lncRNAs with the translation machinery and the functional consequences during neuronal differentiation of SH-SH5Y cells. We discovered 237 cytoplasmic
... 237 cytoplasmic lncRNAs upregulated during early neuronal differentiation, most of which are associated with polysome complexes. The majority are cytoplasmically enriched and are intergenic or anti-sense. In addition, we find 45 small ORFs in lncRNAs to be actively translated, 17 specifically upon differentiation. 11 of these smORFs exhibit high sequence conservation across Hominidae suggesting they are under strong selective constraint with putative function in this clade. We discover LINC01116 is induced upon differentiation and contains an 87 codon smORF, which we detect as translated, with increased ribosome profiling signal upon differentiation. The LINC01116 peptide exhibits a cytoplasmic distribution and is detected in neurites. Knockdown of LINC01116 results in significant reduction of neurite length in differentiated cells indicating it contributes to neuronal differentiation. Our findings indicate lncRNAs are a source of non-canonical peptides and contribute to neuronal function.