A team of DZHK researchers at the partner site RheinMain headed by Prof. Dr. Ralf P. Brandes of Goethe University Frankfurt have succeeded in identifying a previously unknown long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) that is essential to the functioning of the vascular system. The first description of this lncRNA, termed MANTIS, has appeared in the journal Circulation. MANTIS is epigenetically regulated by a histone demethylase and is important for maintaining endothelial function. In the process MANTIS interacts with the central subunit of a chromatin-altering complex, BRG1, and links this complex almost exclusively with angiogenesis-associated genes so that these can be reliably primed for transcription. This process plays a key role during vascular regeneration and is dysregulated in patients with pulmonary hypertension as well as in endothelial cells which were isolated from human glioblastomas. MANTIS could therefore be a potential biomarker for endothelial dysfunction.