RNA modifications, long considered to be molecular curiosities embellishing just abundant and non-coding RNAs, have now moved into the focus of both academic and applied research. Dedicated research efforts (epitranscriptomics) aim at deciphering the underlying principles by determining RNA modification landscapes and investigating the molecular mechanisms that establish, interpret and modulate the information potential of RNA beyond the combination of four canonical nucleotides. This has resulted in mapping various epitranscriptomes at high resolution and in cataloguing the effects caused by aberrant RNA modification circuitry. While the scope of the obtained insights has been complex and exciting, most of current epitranscriptomics appears to be stuck in the process of producing data, with very few efforts to disentangle cause from consequence when studying a specific RNA modification system. This article discusses various knowledge gaps in this field with the aim to raise one specific question: how are the enzymes regulated that dynamically install and modify RNA modifications? Furthermore, various technologies will be highlighted whose development and use might allow identifying specific and context-dependent regulators of epitranscriptomic mechanisms. Given the complexity of individual epitranscriptomes, determining their regulatory principles will become crucially important, especially when aiming at modifying specific aspects of an epitranscriptome both for experimental and, potentially, therapeutic purposes.
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