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Above the Epitranscriptome: RNA Modifications and Stem Cell Identity

1
Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnologies, University of Perugia, 06126 Perugia, Italy
2
CEMIN, Center of Excellence of Nanostructured Innovative Materials, University of Perugia, 06126 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(7), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9070329
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Modifications)
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PDF [1016 KB, uploaded 28 June 2018]
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Abstract

Sequence databases and transcriptome-wide mapping have revealed different reversible and dynamic chemical modifications of the nitrogen bases of RNA molecules. Modifications occur in coding RNAs and noncoding-RNAs post-transcriptionally and they can influence the RNA structure, metabolism, and function. The result is the expansion of the variety of the transcriptome. In fact, depending on the type of modification, RNA molecules enter into a specific program exerting the role of the player or/and the target in biological and pathological processes. Many research groups are exploring the role of RNA modifications (alias epitranscriptome) in cell proliferation, survival, and in more specialized activities. More recently, the role of RNA modifications has been also explored in stem cell biology. Our understanding in this context is still in its infancy. Available evidence addresses the role of RNA modifications in self-renewal, commitment, and differentiation processes of stem cells. In this review, we will focus on five epitranscriptomic marks: N6-methyladenosine, N1-methyladenosine, 5-methylcytosine, Pseudouridine (Ψ) and Adenosine-to-Inosine editing. We will provide insights into the function and the distribution of these chemical modifications in coding RNAs and noncoding-RNAs. Mainly, we will emphasize the role of epitranscriptomic mechanisms in the biology of naïve, primed, embryonic, adult, and cancer stem cells. View Full-Text
Keywords: N6-methyladenosine; N1-methyladenosine; 5-methylcytosine; writers; readers; erasers proteins; epigenetics; mitochondrial transfer RNA; mitochondrial ribosomal RNA; stem cells self-renewal and differentiation; cancer stem cells; naïve and primed stem cells; bioinformatics predictive tools N6-methyladenosine; N1-methyladenosine; 5-methylcytosine; writers; readers; erasers proteins; epigenetics; mitochondrial transfer RNA; mitochondrial ribosomal RNA; stem cells self-renewal and differentiation; cancer stem cells; naïve and primed stem cells; bioinformatics predictive tools
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Morena, F.; Argentati, C.; Bazzucchi, M.; Emiliani, C.; Martino, S. Above the Epitranscriptome: RNA Modifications and Stem Cell Identity. Genes 2018, 9, 329.

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