Hematopoietic differentiation is controlled by both genetic and epigenetic regulators. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been demonstrated to be important for normal hematopoiesis, but their function in erythropoiesis needs to be further explored. We profiled the transcriptomes of 16 murine hematopoietic cell populations by deep RNA sequencing and identified a novel lncRNA, Gm15915, that was highly expressed in erythroid-related progenitors and erythrocytes. For this reason, we named it lncEry. We also identified a novel lncEry isoform, which was the principal transcript that has not been reported before. lncEry depletion impaired erythropoiesis, indicating the important role of the lncRNA in regulating erythroid differentiation and maturation. Mechanistically, we found that lncEry interacted with WD repeat–containing protein 82 (WDR82) to promote the transcription of Klf1 and globin genes and thus control the early and late stages of erythropoiesis, respectively. These findings identified lncEry as an important player in the transcriptional regulation of erythropoiesis.

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