About this Research Topic
Since the advent of high-throughput RNA-sequencing methodologies and powerful bioinformatics approaches to evaluate the data, the role of RNA has evolved to include intricate and surprising mechanisms of RNA-mediated regulation. The base pairing of regulatory RNAs with complementary RNA or DNA is one mode of this regulation, although protein cofactors, such as RNA chaperones and ribonucleases, are often involved. RNA regulation is involved in many facets of bacterial physiology including the production of virulence factors, quorum sensing, biofilm formation, response to environmental stress, host-pathogen interactions, and response to intruding DNA and/or RNA. The focus of this research topic is to analyze RNA-mediated mechanisms that contribute to bacterial disease pathogenesis and the survival of bacterial pathogens. In this era, when antimicrobial resistance threatens public health on an unprecedented scale, RNA offers a new path to develop novel antimicrobial strategies. In addition, RNA regulators have been repurposed to develop powerful biotechnical and biomedical applications, such as gene editing, gene therapy, and targeted delivery of RNA-based nanomedicines. Specific topics of interest are:
• Cis-acting regulatory RNAs: modifications in the untranslated region (UTR) of mRNA that affects
translation and mRNA stability (e.g., riboswitches, RNA thermometers)
• Trans-acting regulatory RNAs: small RNA-mediated regulation through anti-sense RNA binding,
including mechanisms associated with RNA chaperones (e.g., Hfq).
• CRISPR-Cas systems: RNA-mediated mechanisms protecting bacterial cells from intruding nucleic
acids, current knowledge on emerging roles of CRISPR-Cas systems in bacterial virulence and biofilm
• Technologies that were developed based on principles of bacterial RNA-mediated regulation (e.g.,
CRISPR-based genome editing and gene regulation, inhibitors of regulatory RNA molecules, antisense
RNAs as medicines).
• Experimental techniques that can be used for identifying novel RNA-regulators: RNA-seq and
computational approaches, methods such as SELEX that are used for identifying new RNA regulators,
and target prediction for small trans-activating RNAs
Keywords: Trans-acting regulatory RNAs, genome editing, RNA-seq, SELEX, Cis-acting regulatory RNAs
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