Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are classified as RNAs greater than 200 nucleotides in length that do not produce a protein product. lncRNAs are expressed with cellular and temporal specificity and have been shown to play a role in many cellular events, including the regulation of gene expression, post-transcriptional modifications and epigenetic modifications. Since lncRNAs were first discovered, there has been increasing evidence that they play important roles in the development and function of most organs, including the placenta. The placenta is an essential transient organ that facilitates communication and nutrient exchange between the mother and foetus. The placenta is of foetal origin and begins to form shortly after the embryo implants into the uterine wall. The placenta relies heavily on the successful differentiation and function of trophoblast cells, including invasion as well as the formation of the maternal/foetal interface. Here, we review the current literature surrounding the involvement of lncRNAs in the development and function of trophoblasts and the human placenta.
- Long non-coding RNA