Research ArticleCELL BIOLOGY

An NF-κB–driven lncRNA orchestrates colitis and circadian clock

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Science Advances  14 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 42, eabb5202
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb5202


We uncover a cycling and NF-κB–driven lncRNA (named Lnc-UC) that epigenetically modifies transcription of circadian clock gene Rev-erbα, thereby linking circadian clock to colitis. Cycling expression of Lnc-UC is generated by the central clock protein Bmal1 via an E-box element. NF-κB activation in experimental colitis transcriptionally drives Lnc-UC through direct binding to two κB sites. Lnc-UC ablation disrupts colonic expressions of clock genes in mice; particularly, Rev-erbα is down-regulated and its diurnal rhythm is blunted. Consistently, Lnc-UC promotes expression of Rev-erbα (a known dual NF-κB/Nlrp3 repressor) to inactivate NF-κB signaling and Nlrp3 inflammasome in macrophages. Furthermore, Lnc-UC ablation sensitizes mice to experimental colitis and abolishes the diurnal rhythmicity in disease severity. Mechanistically, Lnc-UC physically interacts with Cbx1 protein to reduce its gene silencing activity via H3K9me3, thereby enhancing Rev-erbα transcription and expression. In addition, we identify a human Lnc-UC that has potential to promote Rev-erbα expression and restrain inflammations.

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