Introduction: Regulation of gene expression involves a variety of mechanisms driven by a complex regulatory network of factors. Control of transcription is an important step in gene expression regulation, which integrates the function of cis-acting and trans-acting elements. Among cis-regulatory elements, enhancer RNA (eRNA)-producing domains recently emerged as widespread and potent regulators of transcription and cell fate decision. Thus, manipulation of eRNA levels becomes a novel and appealing avenue for the design of new therapeutic treatments.Areas covered: In this review, we focus on eRNA-producing domains. We describe mechanisms involved in their cell-type specific selection and activation as well as their epigenetic features. In addition, we present their function and the growing evidences of their deregulation in human diseases. Finally, we discuss eRNAs as potential therapeutic targets.Expert opinion: As key factors in the control of transcription, eRNAs appear to possess a great potential for the establishment of new therapy options. However, thorough testing as well as providing the genetic toolbox to target eRNAs will be needed to fully assess the practical and clinical possibilities.

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Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Department of Molecular Genetics

Léveillé, N., Melo, C., & Agami, R. (2015). Enhancer-associated RNAs as therapeutic targets. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy (Vol. 15, pp. 723–734). doi:10.1517/14712598.2015.1029452