About this Research Topic
Nucleic acids with structures different from the classic, Watson and Crick double helix, are increasingly being recognized as important regulators of the genetic function. Indeed, non-canonical structures, such as G-quadruplexes, i-Motifs, hairpins, triplexes, junctions, and others, have been described, both at the DNA and RNA levels, in the human genome, especially in telomeres and oncogene promoters, where their involvement in the regulation of biological processes such as transcription, replication, translation and genome instability has been established. In addition to humans, these non-canonical nucleic structures have been found in other mammalian genomes, yeasts, protozoa, bacteria, and viruses.
In recent years, their presence in microorganisms, above all, human pathogens, has attracted increasing interest. The stabilizing/destabilizing role of binding proteins has been explored for some of those structures, both at the human and at the pathogen level.
This Research Topic welcomes high-quality manuscripts centered on the presence and biological role of nucleic acid secondary structures, addressing the following aspects:
- Identification and characterization of novel targets based on non-canonical nucleic acids structures, for the development of innovative anticancer and antimicrobic therapies;
- Development and test of drug-like ligands as tools to study the complexity of non-canonical structure;
- Development and test of drug-like ligands as innovative antineoplastic and antimicrobic therapeutic agents.
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.