Difference Between lincRNA and lncRNA | lincRNA vs lncRNA

The key difference between lincRNA and lncRNA is the length of the RNA. That is; the lincRNAs are long strands of RNA whereas lncRNAs are comparatively short strands of RNA.

RNA or Ribonucleic acid is an important biomolecule which has varied functions. There are many new discoveries taking place in terms of RNA. lincRNA and lncRNA are two such new discoveries. lincRNA stands for Long Intergenic non-coding RNA. They are long RNA transcripts present in the mammalian genome. They appear to help in cell differentiation and cell identity. In comparison, lncRNA or long non-coding RNA are RNA transcripts that are not longer than lincRNA, and they do not code for proteins.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is lincRNA 
3. What is lncRNA
4. Similarities Between lincRNA and lncRNA
5. Side by Side Comparison – lincRNA vs lncRNA in Tabular Form
6. Summary

What is lincRNA?

The lincRNA or long intergenic non-coding RNA is the largest class of RNA found in most mammalian genomes including the human genome. They are very large and long RNA transcripts. Also, the lincRNA has signature polyA tails, and it is useful feature in identifying them. Furthermore, another way of identifying them is by sequencing. Genome-Wide Association studies are currently taking place to identify these lincRNAs.

Difference Between lincRNA and lncRNA | lincRNA vs lncRNA

Figure 01: RNA Chemical Structure

The main function of the lincRNA is in gene-specific transcription. They act as regulatory elements during transcription. They are also involved in basal transcription regulatory machinery. lincRNA plays a major role in post-translational modifications which involves RNA splicing. Moreover, they act as intermediate molecules during splicing.

What is lncRNA?

Long non-coding RNA or lncRNA are non-coding RNA transcripts. These are nearly 200 nucleotides long. Their size is a significant feature of lncRNA. Sometimes, they are also called Junk RNA. There are four main types of lncRNA: intergenic lncRNA, intronic lncRNA, sense lncRNA, and antisense lncRNA. These types defer on their transcription mechanisms.

The main function of lncRNA is not yet specifically elucidated. But, scientists believe that they play a major role in the mechanism of cancer as they affect the transcriptional mechanism of cancer. They also show functions in resistance to apoptosis, induction of angiogenesis, promotion of metastasis, and evasion of tumor suppressors.

What are the Similarities Between lincRNA and lncRNA?

  • lincRNA and lncRNA are two types of RNA composed of ribonucleotides.
  • They are single-stranded sequences.
  • Both show functions in transcriptional mechanisms.
  • Furthermore, they are non-coding RNA.
  • Both form secondary structures.
  • In addition, they show tissue-specific expression.

What is the Difference Between lincRNA and lncRNA?

lincRNA refers to the long intergenic non-coding RNA while lncRNA refers to the long non-coding RNA. lincRNA represents the longest group of RNA which are non-coding. On the other hand, lncRNA represents another group of long RNA that have approximately 200 nucleotides and which are shorter than lincRNA. In fact, lincRNA makes up lncRNA.  Thus, the key difference between lincRNA and lncRNA is the length of each RNA. That is; the lincRNA is longer than lncRNA. Furthermore, another difference between lincRNA and lncRNA is that the lincRNA is present in the mammalian genome and is present in the nucleus while lncRNAs are RNA transcripts present outside the nucleus.

Difference Between lincRNA and lncRNA | lincRNA vs lncRNA

Summary – lincRNA vs lncRNA

lincRNA and lncRNA are two novel types of RNA. lincRNA stands for long intergenic non-coding RNA, and they are the longest RNA present in the human genome. On the other hand, lncRNA or long non-coding RNA is another type of RNA which is an RNA transcript. However, lncRNAs are shorter in length than lincRNA. Moreover, they contain around 200 nucleotides in their sequences. Both these novel types of RNA play a major role in transcriptional mechanisms. They also play a major role in post-translational modifications. Both RNA types can be identified via sequencing. This is a summary of the difference between lincRNA and lncRNA.


1. Fang, Yiwen, and Melissa J. Fullwood. “Roles, Functions, and Mechanisms of Long Non-Coding RNAs in Cancer.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, 12 Feb. 2016, Available here.
2. Ulitsky, Igor, and David P. Bartel. LincRNAs: Genomics, Evolution, and Mechanisms. Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “RNA chemical structure” By Narayanese (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia