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Paraspeckles are subpopulation-specific nuclear bodies that are not essential in mice.

Nakagawa S., Naganuma T., Shioi G., Hirose T.

Nuclei of higher organisms are well structured and have multiple, distinct nuclear compartments or nuclear bodies. Paraspeckles are recently identified mammal-specific nuclear bodies ubiquitously found in most cells cultured in vitro. To investigate the physiological role of paraspeckles, we examined the in vivo expression patterns of two long noncoding RNAs, NEAT1_1 and NEAT1_2, which are essential for the architectural integrity of nuclear bodies. Unexpectedly, these genes were only strongly expressed in a particular subpopulation of cells in adult mouse tissues, and prominent paraspeckle formation was observed only in the cells highly expressing NEAT1_2. To further investigate the cellular functions of paraspeckles, we created an animal model lacking NEAT1 by gene targeting. These knockout mice were viable and fertile under laboratory growth conditions, showing no apparent phenotypes except for the disappearance of paraspeckles. We propose that paraspeckles are nonessential, subpopulation-specific nuclear bodies formed secondary to particular environmental triggers.

J. Cell Biol. 193:31-39(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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