Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2013)
Special Issue Editors
Guest Editor Prof. Dr. Nicholas Delihas
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, 158 Life Sciences Building, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA
Website: http://www.mgm.stonybrook.edu/delihas/index.shtml E-Mail: Nicholas.email@example.com Phone: +1 631 632 8779 Fax: +1 631 632 9797 Interests: regulation of gene expression by small RNAs; annotation of genes; repetitive sequences in intergenic regions in bacteria
Regulatory non-protein-coding RNA genes and their transcripts were first found and characterized in bacteria but encompass all biological kingdoms. The complexity of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in terms of number and types increases with degree of biological development, whereby humans and other primates appear to have the largest number. Many regulatory ncRNAs base-pair to a target RNA or DNA and inhibit target function. Bacterial ncRNA genes largely respond to environmental stress conditions and help protect the organism from adverse conditions. The prokaryotic RNAs are for the most part small (<200 bp) and are commonly referred to as small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs). Eukaryotic RNAs consist of small <200 nt RNAs and large >200 nt (termed lncRNAs). The eukaryotic small RNAs include miRNAs, siRNAs, and piRNAs. miRNAs inhibit mRNA functions and may also be associated with cancer. lncRNAs functions are multifaceted and include epigenetic regulation and animal development. The bacterial and archeal immune system CRISPR, and the eukaryotic piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNA) immune system that inhibits mobile elements in germ line cells both function by via RNA transcript/ target DNA heteroduplex base-pairing are a specific class of RNAs that protect cells from invading transposons/and or viruses. siRNAs function in plant and invertebrate immune systems and protect against viral infections. Additionally, small RNA fragments derived from snoRNAs and tRNAs as well as18 nt RNAs (tiRNAs) derived from eukaryotic transcription start sites may play a role in regulation. Exciting new findings with non-protein coding sequences of the human genome show that a major portion of the genome is transcribed. This provides the possibility that larger numbers of functional RNAs may be found in addition to the several thousand known ones. The precepts of genes and genetic inheritance may have to change to include RNA genes and their transcripts and this would represent a starling change in the principles of molecular genetics.
This special issue of IJMS will be devoted to original papers and reviews of properties and mechanism of action of regulatory non-coding RNAs and will be organized into prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNAs with separate subtopics involving regulatory ncRNAs in plants and animals. There will be a special emphasis on RNAs in humans and their significance to disease formation and will include roles of ncRNAs in neurodegeneration, cancer, diabetes and other diseases.
Prof. Dr. Nicholas Delihas Prof. Dr. Constantinos Stathopoulos Guest Editor