About this Research Topic
Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are among the most abundant non-coding RNA species in a cell, and are essential components of the translation machinery. They read the genetic code of messenger RNAs and deliver cognate amino acids to the ribosome for protein synthesis. Transfer RNAs are processed and post-transcriptionally modified to become fully functional mature tRNAs.
In recent years novel experimental approaches have been developed to study tRNA function. This has improved our understanding on tRNA biology, and has uncovered a range of additional roles tRNAs and tRNA-derived species play at cell type- and tissue-specific level; many of which having direct relevance to human health.
The unexpected underestimation of the importance of tRNAs prompts us to re-focus our attention on tRNA function, beyond their classical role in translation. We need to further understand the different non-canonical functions tRNAs play in biology and deeply address the fine molecular mechanisms affecting their functional fates. In this sense, studying tRNA expression, processing and post-transcriptional modification patterns are key. In addition, the use of a variety of experimental models (Bacteria, yeast, Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish, mice, human cell lines and primary cultures, etc.), and novel high-throughput experimental techniques will be instrumental.
The aim of this Research Topic is to cover promising, recent and novel research trends on different aspects of non-canonical tRNA function, and to create a forum for discussion of current ways forward to expand our understanding on the importance of tRNAs, as well as exposing caveats this research field needs to overcome in the near future.
Authors can submit any type of manuscript as defined by Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. We particularly encourage Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Methods and Perspective articles. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
• Characterization of non-canonical functions carried out by tRNAs and tRNA-derived fragments
• Importance of tRNA gene expression and post-transcriptional tRNA modifications in regulating non-canonical tRNA functionality
• Mechanisms of tRNA processing for the generation of tRNA-derived fragments of biological relevance
• Characterization of cell type-, tissue- and species-specific non-canonical tRNA function
• Role of non-canonical tRNA biology in human health and disease
Keywords: transfer RNA, tRNA-derived fragments, tRNA modifications, tRNA processing, non-canonical function, gene regulation, human diseases
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.