Special Issue "CRISPR/Cas Technology Applied to the Study of Non-coding RNAs in Cancer"

A special issue of Non-Coding RNA (ISSN 2311-553X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Molecular Biotechnologies & Health Sciences, Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Turin, Italy; and Renown Institute for Cancer, Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno, NV, USA
Interests: cancer genetics; tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes; non-coding RNAs; microRNAs; circ-RNAs; ceRNAs; pseudogenes
Dr. Laura Poliseno
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Oncogenomics Unit, Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC), National Research Council (CNR); and Core Research Laboratory (CRL), Istituto per lo Studio, la Prevenzione e la Rete Oncologica (ISPRO), Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Interests: Melanoma, BRAFV600E isoforms, microRNAs, ceRNAs, pigmentation, melanoma modeling in zebrafish and mouse, attenuated Listeria monocytogenes, pseudogenes
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

Originally used by bacteria to protect themselves against viruses, CRISPR/Cas system-based editing of DNA and RNA has, in recent years, been adapted to a wide variety of purposes, including the study of complex biological processes, the design of new therapeutic approaches, and the development of new biotechnological tools.

This Special Issue will collect original research articles and communications in which CRISPR/Cas technology is used in cancer:

  1. To study the biological role played by non-coding RNAs, through the modulation of their expression at the genomic, transcriptional, or post-transcriptional level; through the identification of RNA and protein species directly bound to them; or through their visualization and tracking inside cancer cells.
  2. To target the non-coding RNAs for therapeutic purposes.

Submissions describing in vivo data obtained in animal models are strongly encouraged.

This Special Issue will also include concept articles in which, rather than giving an overview of the literature, authors provide insights and explain ideas that can contribute to stimulate discussion and move the field forward.

Prof. Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi
Dr. Laura Poliseno
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. Non-Coding RNA is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1600 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.


  • CRISPR/Cas system
  • Cas9
  • Cas13
  • genome editing
  • RNA knock-down
  • RNA editing
  • RNA immunoprecipitation/pull-down
  • RNA tracking
  • CRISPR-based therapeutics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: ncRNAs associated with transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devil, domestic dog and bivalves
Authors: Nicholas C. Lister1, Ashley M. Milton1, Benjamin Hanrahan1 and Paul D. Waters1
Affiliation: Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Title: To be determined
Authors: Laura Poliseno
Affiliation: Oncogenomics Unit, Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC), National Research Council (CNR); and Core Research Laboratory (CRL), Istituto per lo Studio, la Prevenzione e la Rete Oncologica (ISPRO), Via Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy

Title: To be determined
Authors: Kevin V. Morris
Affiliation: Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine; The Scripps Research Institute; La Jolla, CA USA

Title: High-throughput technologies and approaches to study the non-coding genome
Authors: Bester Assaf
Affiliation: Technion Israel Institute of Technology / Life Sciences

Title: CRISPR-dCas9-based switch systemsfor study of the functional interplay between oncogenic intronic miRNAs and their host lncRNAs in cancer progression
Authors: Jing-Wen Shih
Affiliation: The Ph.D. Program for Cancer Molecular Biology and Drug Discovery, College of Medical Science and Technology, Taipei Medical University, No. 250 Wu-Xing Street, Taipei 11031, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Abstract: It is estimated that more than half of miRNAs are located within protein-coding or non-coding host genes. Many of these intragenic miRNAs share the same promoter with their long non-coding host genes. Interestingly, it is suggested that numerous miRNAs could work as partners or antagonists of their host genes by fine-tuning their target genes functionally associated with host genes. As most onco-miRs are intragenic/intronic miRNAs, it would be critical to interpret their functions in the context of their host genes. Moreover, the knowledge of common and tumor-specific co-expression regulation between miRNAs and host genes, as well as their downstream effect, are essential for understanding transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of miRNAs and further developing miRNA therapeutics in cancer. However, conventional separate overexpression and/or knockdown of intronic miRNA and its host gene could not reflect transcriptional co-expression control in the cell, while tremendous large cistron containing both intronic miRNA and its non-coding host makes it difficult to clone primary RNA for ectopic expression. Therefore, we established the CRISPR-dCAS9-based switch systems targeting the shared promoter of oncogenic miR-31 and its host lncRNA /MIR31HG/ for the study of the co-transcriptional control of these two oncogenic ncRNAs and their possible synergistic role in cancer progression. These CRISPR-dCas9-derived systems could assist researchers to target specific RNA of interest with precision, and may further accelerate the development of RNA-based therapeutics in cancer.

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