Research Topic

Oxidative Damage of RNA: Structure, Function, and Biological Implications - From Nucleotides to Short and Long RNAs in Chemistry and Biology

About this Research Topic

RNA is involved in a vast number of biological processes that are central to life, and its structure is quite diverse in terms of nucleobase structure (over 120 modified nucleobases), molecule size (18-nt long in miRNA to >200-nt in long noncoding RNA), or overall function (coding, regulatory, or in signaling, among many others). However unexpected, and potentially unwanted, chemical lesions to this important biomolecule have consequences that directly impact its structure, its interactions with proteins and other DNA or RNA molecules, and, as a consequence, its overall intended purpose. Among the chemical lesions that have attracted widespread attention in recent years are those occurring from oxidative stress, e.g. reactions between reactive oxygen species [ROS] (from endogenous and/or exogenous sources) and RNA. Various examples in the last decade have shown that this biopolymer is more prone to oxidation than DNA and that its damage is directly related to the progression/development of disease, that it may be responsible for triggering distinct signaling pathways, or that it may alter its original function. Furthermore oxidation of RNA has been shown to be relevant in various types including microRNAs, ribosomal RNA, or messenger RNA among others, making this a topic of biological relevance and with implications yet to be discovered and understood.

Importantly, in contrast to the analogous damage in DNA, where it can be repaired at efficient rates, intramolecular handling and implications arising from these lesions are largely unknown in RNA, thus prompting this as an exciting area that is full of potential for discovery and innovation. Establishing how the cellular imbalance that arises from oxidative stress impacts the structure and function of RNA will be key to understanding many biological processes. Therefore, studies that focus on oxidatively damaged RNA at the local (nucleotide and oligonucleotide) and global (biological implications) levels; or that describe mechanisms designed to cope with oxidative stress, are of wide interest.

This Research Topic aims at consolidating information on oxidation of RNA and its impact on structure and function, broadly. Examples of topics that are of interest include, but are not limited to:

- the chemistry of nucleosides, nucleotides and oligonucleotides of oxidatively damaged RNA
- mechanistic aspects for their generation
- methodology for their detection, for quantification as well as for the development of sequencing technologies;
- impact in biochemical, biophysical, and biological contexts
- intracellular handling
- implications in essential processes such as translation and other regulatory roles
- interactions with other biopolymers
- relationship to disease progression/development
- bioinformatics analyses that aim to identify the impact of oxidation on RNA

Manuscripts, within the format of Frontiers, that will be considered include: Methods; Original Research; Clinical Trial; Brief Research Report; Review; Mini Review; Data Report; and Opinion.


Keywords: RNA Oxidation, RNA Structure, RNA Function


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

RNA is involved in a vast number of biological processes that are central to life, and its structure is quite diverse in terms of nucleobase structure (over 120 modified nucleobases), molecule size (18-nt long in miRNA to >200-nt in long noncoding RNA), or overall function (coding, regulatory, or in signaling, among many others). However unexpected, and potentially unwanted, chemical lesions to this important biomolecule have consequences that directly impact its structure, its interactions with proteins and other DNA or RNA molecules, and, as a consequence, its overall intended purpose. Among the chemical lesions that have attracted widespread attention in recent years are those occurring from oxidative stress, e.g. reactions between reactive oxygen species [ROS] (from endogenous and/or exogenous sources) and RNA. Various examples in the last decade have shown that this biopolymer is more prone to oxidation than DNA and that its damage is directly related to the progression/development of disease, that it may be responsible for triggering distinct signaling pathways, or that it may alter its original function. Furthermore oxidation of RNA has been shown to be relevant in various types including microRNAs, ribosomal RNA, or messenger RNA among others, making this a topic of biological relevance and with implications yet to be discovered and understood.

Importantly, in contrast to the analogous damage in DNA, where it can be repaired at efficient rates, intramolecular handling and implications arising from these lesions are largely unknown in RNA, thus prompting this as an exciting area that is full of potential for discovery and innovation. Establishing how the cellular imbalance that arises from oxidative stress impacts the structure and function of RNA will be key to understanding many biological processes. Therefore, studies that focus on oxidatively damaged RNA at the local (nucleotide and oligonucleotide) and global (biological implications) levels; or that describe mechanisms designed to cope with oxidative stress, are of wide interest.

This Research Topic aims at consolidating information on oxidation of RNA and its impact on structure and function, broadly. Examples of topics that are of interest include, but are not limited to:

- the chemistry of nucleosides, nucleotides and oligonucleotides of oxidatively damaged RNA
- mechanistic aspects for their generation
- methodology for their detection, for quantification as well as for the development of sequencing technologies;
- impact in biochemical, biophysical, and biological contexts
- intracellular handling
- implications in essential processes such as translation and other regulatory roles
- interactions with other biopolymers
- relationship to disease progression/development
- bioinformatics analyses that aim to identify the impact of oxidation on RNA

Manuscripts, within the format of Frontiers, that will be considered include: Methods; Original Research; Clinical Trial; Brief Research Report; Review; Mini Review; Data Report; and Opinion.


Keywords: RNA Oxidation, RNA Structure, RNA Function


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

28 August 2020 Abstract
26 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

28 August 2020 Abstract
26 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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