About this Research Topic
Small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are now known to be important regulators of gene expression and genome integrity. Recent evidence suggests that the ncRNAs may play major biological roles in cellular development, physiology and pathologies. With recent technological advances, the molecular mechanisms of these RNA silencing pathways are becoming clearly defined, and their components are now being tested in clinical trials.
The proposed special research topic will contain a collection of edited articles from leading researchers on the development and application of small non-coding RNAs as therapeutics. It is envisioned that this will cover expressed shRNAs, synthetic siRNAs, miRNA therapies and anti-miRNA therapies and will also highlight current methods in analyzing and dissecting RNAi mediated gene silencing pathways.
The Research Topic will also have introductory chapters on the biology of small RNAs to set the stage for the other application-based chapters on non-coding RNA and gene regulatory processes.
At present, the main challenges in bringing ncRNA-based therapeutics into clinical practice are delivery and off-target effects. Recently, however, there have been major breakthroughs in both of these areas and it is envisioned that at least a couple of chapters addressing each will be included.
This Research Topic with be a resource for ncRNA research, methods, protocols, views and a state-of-the art encyclopedia that can be used in both academia and in clinical settings.
The Research Topic will cover
(i) introduction to the field of ncRNAs;
(ii) types of RNA-based therapeutics, with small interfering RNAs as drugs, their delivery, chemistry, mechanisms of action and efficacy;
(iii) miRNAs as therapeutic targets or entities, with this part focusing on the methods to dissect RNAi-mediated gene silencing pathways, including general protocols and methods for ectopic delivery of ncRNAs/miRNAs as well as agents for blocking endogenous miRNA function. It could also include therapeutic RNA aptamers;
(iv) clinical trials for translating ncRNA-based therapeutics into clinical practice and both siRNA and miRNA-based therapeutics will be included; and
(v) a focus on integration and new technologies for aptamer evolution, chemistry and therapeutic applications, standalone drugs and targeted drug delivery vehicles.
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.frontiersin.org. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are welcomed. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process.
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.