Special Issue "Current Trends in MicroRNA Research: From Basics to Applications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 3943

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Osamu Ishibashi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Biological Macromolecules, Department of Applied Life Sciences, Graduate School of Life & Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, 1 1 Gakuen cho, Sakai 599 8531, Japan
Interests: non-coding RNA; microRNA; biomarker; molecular diagnosis; thyroid cancer; transcriptome
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleague,

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs of 19–24 nucleotides in length. In 1993, the first miRNA, lin-4, was discovered in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), and thereafter, scores of miRNAs have been identified to date in plants, animals, and other eukaryotes. Some of these miRNAs were shown to be highly conserved among species. Many miRNAs are ubiquitously expressed in organisms; however, some are known to exhibit specific expression patterns in organ- or cell-type-dependent manners, indicating specific roles in cells and/or organs.

It is generally known that miRNAs bind to specific sites in the 3’-UTRs of their target mRNAs, which leads to mRNA degradation or translational repression. Recent studies have shown that miRNA binding sites have also been identified within other mRNA regions such as 5’-UTRs and coding sequences. Interestingly, some studies have also shown that miRNAs actually mediate the upregulation of gene expression under specific conditions. Furthermore, several studies have indicated that long noncoding RNAs can act as miRNA sponges, competitively inhibiting miRNA-mediated gene silencing. Thus, the miRNA–mRNA regulatory network is thought to be more complicated than expected.

MiRNAs are involved in a variety of biological processes, and their aberrant expression is associated with human, animal, and plant diseases. MiRNAs dysregulated in many types of cancers, also called “onco-miRs”, have been well studied, and some of them have been suggested to be possible therapeutic targets for cancers. Furthermore, miRNAs have been shown to be secreted from human cells via tiny vesicles called exosomes. Therefore, miRNAs are expected to be able to serve as biomarkers of specific cancer types.

In this Special Issue, we would like to focus on cutting-edge research on miRNA biosynthesis and miRNA-mediated gene regulation. We welcome not only studies focusing on basics but also those based on applications.

Dr. Osamu Ishibashi
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 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 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.

Keywords

  • microRNA (miRNA)
  • miRNA-mRNA regulatory network
  • onco-miR

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Communication
The Role of miR-217-5p in the Puromycin Aminonucleoside-Induced Morphological Change of Podocytes
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8030043 - 08 Jun 2022
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Abstract
Podocytes, alternatively called glomerular epithelial cells, are terminally differentiated cells that wrap around glomerular capillaries and function as a part of the glomerular filtration barrier in the kidney. Therefore, podocyte injury with morphological alteration and detachment from glomerular capillaries leads to severe proteinuria [...] Read more.
Podocytes, alternatively called glomerular epithelial cells, are terminally differentiated cells that wrap around glomerular capillaries and function as a part of the glomerular filtration barrier in the kidney. Therefore, podocyte injury with morphological alteration and detachment from glomerular capillaries leads to severe proteinuria and subsequent renal failure through glomerulosclerosis. Previous RNA sequencing analysis of primary rat podocytes exposed to puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN), a well-known experimental model of injured podocytes, identified several transcripts as being aberrantly expressed. However, how the expression of these transcripts is regulated remains unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that posttranscriptionally inhibit the expression of their target transcripts. In this study, using small RNA sequencing analysis, miR-217-5p was identified as the most upregulated transcript in PAN-treated rat podocytes. MiR-217-5p overexpression in E11 podocyte cells led to shrunken cells with abnormal actin cytoskeletons. Consistent with these changes in cell morphology, gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis showed that interactive GO terms related to cell morphogenesis were enriched with the predicted targets of miR-217-5p. Of the predicted targets highly downregulated by PAN, Myosin 1d (Myo1d) is a nonmuscle myosin predicted to be involved in actin filament organization and thought to play a role in podocyte morphogenesis and injury. We demonstrated that miR-217-5p targets Myo1d by luciferase assays, qRT–PCR, and Western blotting. Furthermore, we showed that miR-217-5p was present in urine from PAN- but not saline-administrated rats. Taken together, our data suggest that miR-217-5p may serve as a therapeutic target and a biomarker for podocyte injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in MicroRNA Research: From Basics to Applications)
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Review

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Review
Modulation of MicroRNA Processing by Dicer via Its Associated dsRNA Binding Proteins
Non-Coding RNA 2021, 7(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna7030057 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are about 22 nucleotides in length. They regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by guiding the effector protein Argonaute to its target mRNA in a sequence-dependent manner, causing the translational repression and destabilization of the target mRNAs. Both [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are about 22 nucleotides in length. They regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by guiding the effector protein Argonaute to its target mRNA in a sequence-dependent manner, causing the translational repression and destabilization of the target mRNAs. Both Drosha and Dicer, members of the RNase III family proteins, are essential components in the canonical miRNA biogenesis pathway. miRNA is transcribed into primary-miRNA (pri-miRNA) from genomic DNA. Drosha then cleaves the flanking regions of pri-miRNA into precursor-miRNA (pre-miRNA), while Dicer cleaves the loop region of the pre-miRNA to form a miRNA duplex. Although the role of Drosha and Dicer in miRNA maturation is well known, the modulation processes that are important for regulating the downstream gene network are not fully understood. In this review, we summarized and discussed current reports on miRNA biogenesis caused by Drosha and Dicer. We also discussed the modulation mechanisms regulated by double-stranded RNA binding proteins (dsRBPs) and the function and substrate specificity of dsRBPs, including the TAR RNA binding protein (TRBP) and the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in MicroRNA Research: From Basics to Applications)
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Other

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Perspective
Non-Coding RNAs in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Implications for Biomarker Discovery
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8030035 - 25 May 2022
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Abstract
Recent advances in gene expression analysis techniques and increased access to technologies such as microarrays, qPCR arrays, and next-generation sequencing, in the last decade, have led to increased awareness of the complexity of the inflammatory responses that lead to pathology. This finding is [...] Read more.
Recent advances in gene expression analysis techniques and increased access to technologies such as microarrays, qPCR arrays, and next-generation sequencing, in the last decade, have led to increased awareness of the complexity of the inflammatory responses that lead to pathology. This finding is also the case for rheumatic diseases, importantly and specifically, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The coincidence in major genetic and epigenetic regulatory events leading to RA’s inflammatory state is now well-recognized. Research groups have characterized the gene expression profile of early RA patients and identified a group of miRNAs that is particularly abundant in the early stages of the disease and miRNAs associated with treatment responses. In this perspective, we summarize the current state of RNA-based biomarker discovery and the context of technology adoption/implementation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These advances have great potential for clinical application and could provide preclinical disease detection, follow-up, treatment targets, and biomarkers for treatment response monitoring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in MicroRNA Research: From Basics to Applications)
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