Topical Collection "Eukaryotic Non-coding RNAs: Diversity, Structure/Function, Implication in Cardiovascular Disease"
Interests: heart failure; ischemic heart disease; cellular and molecular cardiology; coding and non-coding RNA
Interests: RNA structure and function; ribosome biogenesis; RNA splicing; RNA and diseases; non-coding RNAs
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Less than 3% of the human genome corresponds to protein-coding genes. For a long time, the remaining transcripts were considered byproducts of transcription without significant biological importance, except for RNAs involved in translation, such as tRNAs and rRNAs and later UsnRNAs. However, in the two last decades, technological advancements have highlighted the existence of several other classes of functionally important non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and the development of high-throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatics capacity revealed that in fact most of the genome is transcribed, leading to the production of a range of different types of ncRNAs; the precise functions of several of them is still under investigation. This high complexity of the transcriptome has opened new avenues and has profound implications for the involvement of molecular biology in medical research. Indeed, ncRNAs have been associated with most human diseases. One illustrative example is cardiovascular diseases, ncRNAs have been implicated in nearly all cardiovascular processes, from normal heart development to stress responses in adults, regulating cardiac growth, contractile function, remodeling of the intracellular and extracellular matrix, and cellular viability and survival in addition to gene expression per se.
Among these ncRNAs, UsnRNAs involved in messenger RNA splicing, snoRNAs involved in ribosome biogenesis, and microRNAs regulating the translation of mRNA into protein are among the most-studied classes of ncRNAs. However, besides them, a wide range of other small (<200 nucleotides) or long non-coding RNAs (>200 nucleotides) were more recently found to play key roles in tuning the cellular and molecular functions in health and diseases. Thus, increased knowledge on the whole transcriptome and particularly ncRNAs, is opening new avenues towards the development of new diagnostic approaches and new treatments of diseases.
For instance, diseases affecting the cardiovascular system are characterized by the activation of a variety of intracellular signaling pathways and transcriptional mediators, promoting cardiomyocyte dysfunction and pathological remodeling of the heart that may lead to heart failure. There has been a significant focus on the study of protein-coding genes giving rise to messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that influence the adaptive and maladaptive changes leading to cardiac pathology, but it is now time to take the role of ncRNAs into account in the investigations.
The increasing interest in ncRNAs has encouraged us to prepare this topical collection, where we intend to publish original new findings and reviews on ncRNAs and, thus, create a collection that tracks the progress made in the field over the years. In addition to studies on the various classes of ncRNAs (snoRNAs, UsnRNAs, miRNAs, lncRNAs, etc.) (identification, structure, function, mechanisms of action), a specific focus will be given to the roles of ncRNAs in cardiovascular diseases. We invite interested authors to submit original research articles, reviews, concept papers, and commentaries to this topical collection.
Dr. Morten Andre Høydal
Prof. Dr. Christiane Branlant
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- RNA structure and function
- cellular and molecular cardiology
- coding and non-coding RNA
- RNA and diseases
- cardiovascular Disease