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Special Issue "RNA Regulatory Networks"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Francisco J. Enguita

Faculdade de Medicina, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: non-coding RNAs; cardiovascular diseases; infectious diseases; cell-to-cell communication; circulating RNAs; biomarkers
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. John Mattick

Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: non-coding RNA biology; RNA structure-function relationships; development; epigenetic regulation; neurological diseases; cardiovascular diseases; cancer; infectious diseases; cell organization; cell-to-cell communication; circulating RNAs; biomarkers

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The centrality of RNA in the flow of information from the genome is the basis of the classical dogma of cell biology. However, the rules and roles governing RNA functions have been dramatically expanded during the last two decades with the discovery of the pervasive transcription of eukaryotic genomes and the growing appreciation of non-coding RNA as a plastic and versatile molecule that carries out a myriad of functions ranging from enzymatic catalysis to scaffolding of protein complexes, nucleation of subcellular domains, and the dynamic organization of chromatin.

The fact that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are prevalent in the transcriptomes of humans and other complex organisms suggests that a second tier of genetic output has evolved in these organisms, to enable the integration and coordination of sophisticated suites of gene expression required for differentiation and development, and that may be perturbed in cancer and neurological disorders, among others. Moreover, the expansion of the complement of ncRNAs in the higher organisms suggests that the evolution of complexity may not have been simply dependent on an expanded repertoire of proteins and protein isoforms but on a (much) larger set of genomic design instructions embedded in trans-acting RNAs, which drive the epigenetic trajectories of development and can respond to internal and external cues through RNA editing and modification.

This Special Issue will welcome scientific contributions and critical reviews analyzing the role and biological functions of RNA-centred regulatory networks in the context of development, brain function, cell physiology, and human disease. We will also collect papers from The 3rd International Symposium on Frontiers in Molecular Science—RNA Regulatory Networks (ISFMS 2019), organized by Universidade de Lisboa, which will be held in Lisbon (Portugal) from 26–28th June 2019. This  meeting will analyze the centrality of RNA regulation in biological processes and human disease, and will constitute an excellent opportunity for the interchange of ideas and the presentation of new scientific developments in the field. It will consider the many dimensions of RNA regulation in development and disease, RNA structure-function relationships, the mechanisms by which plasticity is introduced, and the role of RNA in transgenerational communication.

Prof. Dr. Francisco J. Enguita
Prof. Dr. John Mattick
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • RNA-based regulation
  • non-coding RNAs
  • RNA editing
  • cell-to-cell communication
  • metabolic disease
  • RNA structure
  • Genome dynamics
  • RNA structure-function relationships
  • Methods for functional RNA studies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle The Possible Role of Complete Loss of Myostatin in Limiting Excessive Proliferation of Muscle Cells (C2C12) via Activation of MicroRNAs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030643
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Myostatin (MSTN) is a member of the TGF-β superfamily that negatively regulates skeletal muscle growth and differentiation. However, the mechanism by which complete MSTN deletion limits excessive proliferation of muscle cells remains unclear. In this study, we knocked out MSTN in mouse myoblast [...] Read more.
Myostatin (MSTN) is a member of the TGF-β superfamily that negatively regulates skeletal muscle growth and differentiation. However, the mechanism by which complete MSTN deletion limits excessive proliferation of muscle cells remains unclear. In this study, we knocked out MSTN in mouse myoblast lines using a Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9) system and sequenced the mRNA and miRNA transcriptomes. The results show that complete loss of MSTN upregulates seven miRNAs targeting an interaction network composed of 28 downregulated genes, including TGFB1, FOS and RB1. These genes are closely associated with tumorigenesis and cell proliferation. Our study suggests that complete loss of MSTN may limit excessive cell proliferation via activation of miRNAs. These data will contribute to the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Regulatory Networks)

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Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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