Research Topic

New Advances in RNA Targeting

About this Research Topic

Recent discoveries implicating RNA in the pathogenesis of several forms of cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases have created a paradigm shift in drug discovery. Emerging studies have implicated a fundamental role for different RNAs that could serve as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the detection and treatment of various diseases. Indeed, inhibiting oncogenic or viral protein expression at the mRNA level is a potentially effective strategy. All components of the so called cellular noncoding “RNA- genome” (tRNA, rRNA, snRNA, siRNA etc.) provide a basis for pharmacological and genetic manipulation that has the therapeutic potential to improve clinical outcomes in patients. RNA-based drugs, including short interfering RNAs and antisense oligonucleotides that can specifically modulate the expression of disease-relevant genes, are particularly promising examples of a new class of biologics. Currently researchers are attempting to overcome major challenges in utilizing such RNAs in a therapeutic context, including intracellular delivery, stability, and immune response activation.

Recently, there has been notable progress in research on antitumor RNases. The downstream mechanisms of RNase cytotoxicity may induce regulatory activity of RNA hydrolysis products, as well as selective suppression of certain genes. RNases have the potential to destroy RNA in cancer cells and to produce a generation of damage-associated molecular patterns, which then recruit immune cells, inducing further production of cytokines, angiogenic mediators and growth factors, all of which may decrease tumor progression. Investigating the special roles of exogenous RNases and their targets provides new insights into the pathophysiology underlying oncological, cardiovascular and infectious
diseases, and identifies novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

For this Research Topic “RNA targeting”, scientists are welcome to submit their Original Research papers, Case Reports, Clinical Trials and Review articles covering but not limited to the following topics:

• RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by targeting mRNAs
• The CRISPR-Cas system for efficient and specific knockdown of oncogenic mRNA
• Exosomes containing noncoding RNA: role in evolution and potential for medicine
• Extracellular nucleic acids in immunity and cardiovascular responses
• RNases as potential anticancer and antiviral agents
• Synthetic RNases
• Delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids, noncoding RNAs and therapeutic RNases
• Structural analysis and phylogenetic distribution of RNases
• RNA-based assessment of diversity and composition of microbial communities in health
and diseases
• Transcriptomic profiling under pathologies
• RNA theranostics


Keywords: RNA targeting, non-coding RNA, antitumor RNases, antiviral RNases, CRISPR-Cas system, delivery of RNA-targeting drugs, transcriptomic profiling, RNA theranostics


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 discoveries implicating RNA in the pathogenesis of several forms of cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases have created a paradigm shift in drug discovery. Emerging studies have implicated a fundamental role for different RNAs that could serve as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the detection and treatment of various diseases. Indeed, inhibiting oncogenic or viral protein expression at the mRNA level is a potentially effective strategy. All components of the so called cellular noncoding “RNA- genome” (tRNA, rRNA, snRNA, siRNA etc.) provide a basis for pharmacological and genetic manipulation that has the therapeutic potential to improve clinical outcomes in patients. RNA-based drugs, including short interfering RNAs and antisense oligonucleotides that can specifically modulate the expression of disease-relevant genes, are particularly promising examples of a new class of biologics. Currently researchers are attempting to overcome major challenges in utilizing such RNAs in a therapeutic context, including intracellular delivery, stability, and immune response activation.

Recently, there has been notable progress in research on antitumor RNases. The downstream mechanisms of RNase cytotoxicity may induce regulatory activity of RNA hydrolysis products, as well as selective suppression of certain genes. RNases have the potential to destroy RNA in cancer cells and to produce a generation of damage-associated molecular patterns, which then recruit immune cells, inducing further production of cytokines, angiogenic mediators and growth factors, all of which may decrease tumor progression. Investigating the special roles of exogenous RNases and their targets provides new insights into the pathophysiology underlying oncological, cardiovascular and infectious
diseases, and identifies novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

For this Research Topic “RNA targeting”, scientists are welcome to submit their Original Research papers, Case Reports, Clinical Trials and Review articles covering but not limited to the following topics:

• RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by targeting mRNAs
• The CRISPR-Cas system for efficient and specific knockdown of oncogenic mRNA
• Exosomes containing noncoding RNA: role in evolution and potential for medicine
• Extracellular nucleic acids in immunity and cardiovascular responses
• RNases as potential anticancer and antiviral agents
• Synthetic RNases
• Delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids, noncoding RNAs and therapeutic RNases
• Structural analysis and phylogenetic distribution of RNases
• RNA-based assessment of diversity and composition of microbial communities in health
and diseases
• Transcriptomic profiling under pathologies
• RNA theranostics


Keywords: RNA targeting, non-coding RNA, antitumor RNases, antiviral RNases, CRISPR-Cas system, delivery of RNA-targeting drugs, transcriptomic profiling, RNA theranostics


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.

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Submission Deadlines

13 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 January 2019 Manuscript

Participating Journals

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

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