lncRNAs in fertility: redefining the gene expression paradigm?

Yonatan B. Tzur*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Comparative transcriptome approaches assume that highly or dynamically expressed genes are important. This has led to the identification of many genes critical for cellular activity and organism development. However, while testes express the highest levels of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), there is scarcely any evidence for lncRNAs with significant roles in fertility. This was explained by changes in chromatin structure during spermatogenesis that lead to ‘promiscuous transcription’ with no functional roles for the transcripts. Recent discoveries offer novel and surprising alternatives. Here, I review the current knowledge regarding the involvement of lncRNAs in fertility, why I find gametogenesis different from other developmental processes, offer models to explain why the experimental evidence did not meet theoretical predictions, and suggest possible approaches to test the models.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1170-1179
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • fertility
  • lincRNA
  • lncRNA
  • meiosis
  • spermatogenesis


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