Research Topic

The Genome’s Rising Star: Transfer RNA-Derived Small Fragments

About this Research Topic

Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are known as central players in translation, functioning as adapter molecules for amino acid identity and the genetic code. Intriguingly, mature or pre-tRNAs can be further processed into tRNA-derived small fragments (tsRNAs) including tRFs and tRNA halves (tRHs). Initially tsRNAs were ...

Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are known as central players in translation, functioning as adapter molecules for amino acid identity and the genetic code. Intriguingly, mature or pre-tRNAs can be further processed into tRNA-derived small fragments (tsRNAs) including tRFs and tRNA halves (tRHs). Initially tsRNAs were thought to be the nonfunctional products of random tRNA cleavage or degradation, however new evidence shows that they are widely involved in multiple diseases, such as cancer, neurodegeneration, and metabolic disorders. Some specific tsRNAs, acting as tumor suppressors, could inhibit the growth, invasion, and metastasis of breast cancer cells. Sperm tsRNAs represent a paternal epigenetic factor that may mediate intergenerational inheritance of diet-induced metabolic disorders. Moreover, tsRNAs have been identified in tumor cell-derived extracellular vesicles, indicating that, via the blood, tsRNAs can circulate the whole body and may potentially serve as useful tumor biomarkers in liquid biopsies.

As the most abundant RNAs, tRNAs are also the most extensively modified cellular RNAs. Post-transcriptional modifications of tRNA could facilitate thermal adaptation under stress and modulate translational efficiency and accuracy to expand the landscape of cellular epigenetic RNA and impact genetic information in development and disease. Simultaneously, tsRNAs are also found with such modifications. For instance, the pseudouridylation of tsRNAs can steer translational control in stem cells. The mutations and defective modifications of tsRNAs and some tsRNA-modification enzymes are directly associated with various human diseases. However, little is known about the tsRNA modification mechanism and their related enzymes, and how modification defects lead to human diseases.

Mutations of mitochondrial tRNAs could result in a wide range of mitochondrial diseases, including Mitochondrial Encephalopathy, Lactic acidosis, and Stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibers (MERRF). Therefore, tRNA-derivatives with mutations may also induce abnormity in development and lead to many diseases. Until recently it has been difficult to understand many of the underlying mechanisms and functions in this area, but much progress is anticipated in this fast-moving field. We believe that the study of tsRNAs will be developing as a prominent genome research hotspot in the near future. Here, we aim to contribute to highlighting the biological relevance and molecular mechanisms of tsRNAs in development and disease.

For this Research topic we welcome submissions from, but do not limited to, these aspects of tsRNAs research:

(1) The physiological function and underlying molecular mechanism of intracellular tsRNAs in cancer and other diseases
(2) Identification of novel cluster of tsRNAs and their biogenesis mechanism
(3) The function of extracellular tsRNAs circulating in bloodstream and the regulation mechanism on their package, secretion and uptake process
(4) The biological relevance and mechanisms of tsRNAs modifications and mutations in development and diseases

Our Research Topics can accept the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Review and Technology and Code.


Min Tan is a full-time employee of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Topic Editors Wei Yan, Min Tan, Meng Wang and Rujuan Liu hold patents related to the Research Topic subject. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests.


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.


Keywords: Transfer RNAs (tRNAs), Translation, Modification, Cleavage, Mutation, Extracellular vesicles, tRNA-derived small fragments (tsRNAs)


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.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

18 December 2020 Manuscript
29 January 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

18 December 2020 Manuscript
29 January 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..