Functional Domains of NEAT1 Architectural lncRNA Induce Paraspeckle Assembly through Phase Separation

Tomohiro Yamazaki, Sylvie Souquere, Takeshi Chujo, Simon Kobelke, Yee Seng Chong, Archa H. Fox, Charles S. Bond, Shinichi Nakagawa, Gerard Pierron, Tetsuro Hirose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

357 Citations (Scopus)


A class of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) has architectural functions in nuclear body construction; however, specific RNA domains dictating their architectural functions remain uninvestigated. Here, we identified the domains of the architectural NEAT1 lncRNA that construct paraspeckles. Systematic deletion of NEAT1 portions using CRISPR/Cas9 in haploid cells revealed modular domains of NEAT1 important for RNA stability, isoform switching, and paraspeckle assembly. The middle domain, containing functionally redundant subdomains, was responsible for paraspeckle assembly. Artificial tethering of the NONO protein to a NEAT1_2 mutant lacking the functional subdomains rescued paraspeckle assembly, and this required the NOPS dimerization domain of NONO. Paraspeckles exhibit phase-separated properties including susceptibility to 1,6-hexanediol treatment. RNA fragments of the NEAT1_2 subdomains preferentially bound NONO/SFPQ, leading to phase-separated aggregates in vitro. Thus, we demonstrate that the enrichment of NONO dimers on the redundant NEAT1_2 subdomains initiates construction of phase-separated paraspeckles, providing mechanistic insights into lncRNA-based nuclear body formation. The NEAT1 architectural noncoding RNA has a modular domain structure with distinct functions required for paraspeckle formation. Among the functional domains, the middle domain is composed of three distinct, functionally redundant, subdomains that recruit NONO dimers to initiate assembly of the phase-separated paraspeckle structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1053.e7
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2018


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