About this Research Topic
We have long accepted that new biological information is mostly derived from random‚ error-based’ events. But abundant empirical evidence establishes the crucial role of non-random genetic content operators (non-coding regulatory DNA) acting through the expression of RNA with its complex biology to create complex regulatory control. Along with the parallel comeback of regulatory RNA in virology, RNA is now at center stage in how we think about complex organisms.
Regulatory RNAs derive from infectious events and can co-operate, build communities, generate nucleotide sequences de novo and insert/delete them into host genetic content. In this sense RNAs determine host genetic identities throughout all kingdoms including the virosphere. But inclusion of a transmissive viral biology differs fundamentally from conventional thinking in that it represent a vertical domain of life providing vast amounts of linked information not derrived from direct ancestors. Interestingly single RNA stem loops react as a physico-chemical entities, whereas with the cooperation of various RNA stem-loops, networks and biological selection emerges.
Thus we can argue, that for DNA based organisms, an abundance of infective clouds of RNA groups are a central driving force of evolution which are co-adapted from persistent infectious agents that serve as regulatory tools in nearly all cellular processes. Additionally, the resulting productive RNA-networks constantly produce new sequence space, which not only serve as adaptation tools for their cell-based host organisms but also provides crucial roles in evolutionary novelty.
Without transcription from the genetic storage medium DNA into the living world of RNA agents, no relevant genetic process can be initiated. RNAs, with their inherent repeat syntax, format the expression of coding sequences and organize the coherent line-up of timely coordinated steps of replication. In addition, the transport of genetic information to the progeny cells is also coordinated by these agents. Furthermore, they are crucial for the cooperation between networks (groups) of RNA-stem loops to constitute important nucleoprotein complexes such as ribosome, spliceosome, and editosome. Therefore, such RNA groups are essential for complex order of genome constructions.
This means, for every download (via infectious regulatory DNA) of information being relevant for real life organisms, the DNA content has to be expressed into RNA sequence again to be available for active RNA network behavior, i.e., RNA mediated sequence modulation, and re-arrangements or modifications of any kind.
Additionally of interest is that infectious/invasive non-coding RNAs insert preferentially in non-coding DNA areas, whereas coding DNA usually is not the target of invading RNAs. This indicates that the insertion competence relates to interaction competence. In this perspective the non-coding DNA is the preferred habitat to settle down by infectious RNAs, e.g. y-chromosome in human genomes, whereas the coding regions are not preferentially targeted. This may indicate that the preferred change in evolutionary processes occurs in regulatory sections and not in the information storage coding for proteins, which is the main source for “mutations” in previous theoretical concepts of evolution.
This Research Topic will highlight the variety and dynamics of networks of RNA stem-loop groups that invade host genomes.
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