The current annotation of the human genome includes more than 12,000 long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNA). While a handful of lincRNA have been shown to play important regulatory roles, the functionality of most remains unclear. Here, we examined the expression conservation and putative functionality of lincRNA in human and macaque prefrontal cortex (PFC) development and maturation. We analyzed transcriptome sequence (RNA-seq) data from 38 human and 40 macaque individuals covering the entire postnatal development interval. Using the human data set, we detected the expression of 5835 lincRNA annotated in GENCODE and further identified 1888 novel lincRNA. Most of these lincRNA show low DNA sequence conservation, as well as low expression levels. Remarkably, developmental expression patterns of these lincRNA were as conserved between humans and macaques as those of protein-coding genes. Transfection of development-associated lincRNA into human SH-SY5Y cells affected gene expression, indicating their regulatory potential. In brain, expression of these putative target genes correlated with the expression of the corresponding lincRNA during human and macaque PFC development. These results support the potential functionality of lincRNA in primate PFC development.
- Prefrontal cortex