Novel lincrna discovery and tissue-specific gene expression across 30 normal human tissues

Xianfeng Chen, Zhifu Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a large class of gene transcripts that do not code proteins; however, their functions are largely unknown and many new lncRNAs are yet to be discovered. Taking advantage of our previously developed, super-fast, novel lncRNA discovery pipeline, UClncR, and rich resources of GTEx RNA-seq data, we performed systematic novel lincRNA discovery for over 8000 samples across 30 tissue types. We conducted novel detection for each major tissue type first and then consolidated the novel discoveries from all tissue types. These novel lincRNs were profiled and analyzed along with known genes to identify tissue-specific genes in 30 major human tissue types. Thirteen sub-brain regions were also analyzed in a similar manner. Our analysis revealed thousands to tens of thousands of novel lincRNAs for each tissue type. These lincRNAs could define each tissue type’s identity and demonstrated their reliability and tissue-specific expression. Tissue-specific genes were identified for each major tissue type and sub-brain region. The tissue-specific genes clearly defined each respective tissue’s unique function and could be used to expand the interpretation of non-coding SNPs from genome-wide association (GWAS) studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number614
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Bipolar disease
  • GTEx
  • Human normal tissue
  • LincRNA
  • Long intergenic non-coding RNA
  • RNA sequencing
  • Tissue-specific gene expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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