The biological processes governing brain development and maturation depend on complex patterns of gene and protein expression, which can be influenced by many factors. One of the most overlooked is the long noncoding class of RNAs (lncRNAs), which are known to play important regulatory roles in an array of biological processes. Little is known about the distribution of lncRNAs in the sensory systems of the brain, and how lncRNAs interact with other mechanisms to guide the development of these systems. In this study, we profiled lncRNA expression in the mouse auditory forebrain during postnatal development at time points before and after the onset of hearing (P7, P14, P21, adult). First, we generated lncRNA profiles of the primary auditory cortex (A1) and medial geniculate body (MG) at each age. Then, we determined the differential patterns of expression by brain region and age. These analyses revealed that the lncRNA expression profile was distinct between both brain regions and between each postnatal age, indicating spatial and temporal specificity during maturation of the auditory forebrain. Next, we explored potential interactions between functionally-related lncRNAs, protein coding RNAs (pcRNAs), and associated proteins. The maturational trajectories (P7 to adult) of many lncRNA - pcRNA pairs were highly correlated, and predictive analyses revealed that lncRNA-protein interactions tended to be strong. A user-friendly database was constructed to facilitate inspection of the expression levels and maturational trajectories for any lncRNA or pcRNA in the database. Overall, this study provides an in-depth summary of lncRNA expression in the developing auditory forebrain and a broad-based foundation for future exploration of lncRNA function during brain development.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.