Research Topic

Regulation of Soluble Immune Mediators by Non-Coding RNAs

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The magnitude and duration of the innate and adaptive immune responses are controlled by a plethora of soluble mediators, among which cytokines and lipid mediators derived from omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are key soluble messengers finely tuning each phase of the immune system. In turn, the production ...

The magnitude and duration of the innate and adaptive immune responses are controlled by a plethora of soluble mediators, among which cytokines and lipid mediators derived from omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are key soluble messengers finely tuning each phase of the immune system. In turn, the production and half-life of mediators of the immune response is orchestrated by a number of mechanisms acting to promote and/or constrain mediator availability and functions. Both transcriptional, post-transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms have been established to regulate the expression and production of cytokines and of intracellular enzymes responsible for the synthesis of lipid mediators.

These processes are, in turn, controlled via several mechanisms, including non-coding RNA (ncRNA) species. In the last ten years, microRNA-mediated gene silencing has been recognized as a novel mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation in inflammation and immunity. microRNAs can also be released in extracellular fluids, either freely or via extracellular vesicles, and can be transferred from one cell to another. On these bases, extracellular microRNAs have been proposed to also regulate gene expression in a paracrine or even endocrine manner. Finally, in models of cancer, neurodegeneration and graft-versus host disease (GvHD), extracellular microRNAs have been described to regulate cytokine production via mechanisms different from mRNA targeting, i.e. by directly triggering innate immune receptors. More recently, additional regulators of the production of soluble mediators have been described, including long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), that employ a multitude of mechanisms to modulate gene expression as a result of their versatile capability to interact with DNA, RNA, or proteins.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a comprehensive overview of the combined role of different non-coding RNAs (microRNA and lncRNA) on the production of individual cytokines and lipid mediators. Moreover, given the variety of strategies and technical tools utilized, clarification of some controversial issues related to the production, identification, and role of extracellular ncRNAs is needed. Specifically, this Research Topic will be mainly focused on Review and Mini-Review articles that cover the following topics:

1. Non-coding RNAs that play a concerted role in the production of selected cytokines and lipid mediators.
2. Regulatory functions and mechanisms of action of extracellular non-coding RNAs, acting at the post-transcriptional level or via the stimulation of pattern recognition receptors.
3. Critical summary of problems and pitfalls of extracellular vesicle isolation and content identification.
4. miRNA clusters regulating inflammation and immune response.

Original Research articles are also welcome, provided they are within the scope of this Research Topic.


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