About this Research Topic
Following the formulation of the central dogma of molecular biology and the later discovery of classes of non-coding RNAs in the second half of the previous century, the primary focus of Genetics was essentially on DNA variants in order to elucidate biological pathways perturbed in disease. In the last two decades substantial attention has shifted towards the study of posttranscriptional modifications dynamically occurring in both protein-coding as well as non-coding RNAs, revealing a novel and finer layer of complexity in gene regulation. This, in turn, has led to the birth of the new exciting field of 'Epitranscriptomics'. It is in this context that it has later been shown how malfunctions of the RNA modification machineries lead to human diseases such cancers and neurological disorders.
The increasing application of high-throughput sequencing technology (HTS) has allowed the unprecedented opportunity to accurately identify on a transcriptome-wide scale, millions of RNA modifications in human genes, such as deamination (e.g. A-to-I RNA editing), methylation (e.g. m6A, m1A, m5C, hm5C, 2'OMe) and pseudourylation (Ψ), counting today more than 140 distinct types of RNA modifications.
The aim of this Research Topic is to collect both review and original research articles by experts in the field of Epitranscriptomics, in order to cover the necessary bioinformatics approaches, on one hand, and wet lab methodologies, on the other, to aid in the detection of novel RNA modifications and characterization of their biological functions, as well as in the identification of the molecular protagonists involved in the regulation of such phenomena. This will provide a great contribution in addressing the open questions and challenges of this innovative field. Potential emphasis would focus on different categories of RNA modifications, and include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Identification and profiling of novel RNA modifications employing novel wet lab procedures coupled with high-throughput sequencing technology and computational methods.
• Computational approaches to predict RNA secondary structures and RNA interaction for modified RNA molecules.
• Databases of RNA modifications.
• Functional characterization of RNA modifications.
• Novel experimental procedures and protocols to further elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the RNA modification phenomena.
Keywords: Epitranscriptomics, RNA methylation, RNA editing, Psuedourylation, RNA
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