About this Research Topic
The nucleus of higher eukaryotes is filled with numerous classes of RNAs. They can be protein-coding and non-coding RNAs that constantly or temporarily localize in specific subnuclear territories and are increasingly appreciated for their regulatory functions. They often interact with nuclear proteins or chromatin elements via specific sequences and structural motifs, functioning as essential cogs in machineries that regulate nuclear activity such as gene expression, RNA processing, and DNA replication. In many cases, expression and function of nuclear RNAs is highly tissue-specific, implicating unique roles of these RNAs in tissue development and homeostasis. The growing knowledge of nuclear RNAs demands a conceptual framework to understand and further study RNA-centric regulatory networks in nuclear processes. We aim to contribute to establishing such a framework in this Research Topic.
Various RNA-dependent mechanisms may be at play, particularly in the regulation of transcription and chromatin states, as well as for the organization of three-dimensional genome architecture. In recent years, a myriad of tools have been designed to discover and dissect such mechanisms. In particular, high-throughput sequencing-based experiments have enabled data-driven discovery of RNA functions and interactions in an unbiased fashion. Analytical methods integrating public resources to predict the impact of nuclear regulatory RNAs and their protein partners are also emerging. The continuous development of new tools is quintessential for offering insights into RNA function in cellular processes and development.
On the flip side, dysregulation of nuclear regulatory RNAs is widely involved in pathological conditions, such as cancer, infections, developmental defects, and neurological disorders, which may contribute to disease susceptibility and etiology. As sequence variation or structural changes of individual regulatory RNAs can lead to direct downstream cellular effects, it is conceivable that these variations may collectively disrupt the crosstalk within the RNA regulatory network, affecting disease processes at a system level. As the full picture of nuclear regulatory RNAs remains elusive, much progress is anticipated in this fast-moving field.
This Research Topic will cover these aspects highlighting the biological significance of nuclear regulatory RNAs: (1) roles of nuclear regulatory RNAs that determine gene expression in the context of metabolism, cellular identity, spatial and temporal patterning of tissues, and organismal development; (2) the interactions of RNAs with other macromolecules in the nucleus that facilitate their regulatory functions as a complex; (3) findings on dysregulation of nuclear regulatory RNAs in diseased states; and (4) innovative biochemical and computational methods for discovering, predicting, and validating the importance of nuclear regulatory RNAs. We welcome Original Research, Reviews, Hypothesis and Theory, and Methods papers.
Topic Editors Xiao Li, Bing Zhou, and Wenbo Li hold patents related to the Research Topic subject. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests.
Keywords: Nuclear regulatory RNA, Gene expression, Regulatory elements, Chromatin, Development, Disease, Methods
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