Special Issue "The Structure-to-Function Relationship of Long Non-coding RNAs in Various Biological Systems"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Joanna Sztuba-Solinska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, 36849, Auburn, Alabama, USA
Interests: long non-coding RNA; RNA secondary and tertiary structure; RNA–RNA interactions; RNA–protein interactions; epitranscriptomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Viruses have developed a plethora of strategies to modulate the cellular environment to benefit the pathogen replication. One of these tactics includes the production of viral long non-coding (lnc) RNAs. The representatives of this large and functionally versatile category of non-protein coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides have been shown to play essential roles in establishing the virus–host interaction, but also in regulating different biological processes. During viral life cycles, lncRNAs have been shown to enhance viral gene expression, support viral replication and genome packaging, boost virion release, sustain viral latency, and assist viral-induced cellular transformation. As mediators of gene expression, lncRNAs can give rise to small non-coding RNAs such as tRNAs, micro (mi)RNAs, and circular (circ) RNAs to enlarge their regulatory power. Moreover, lncRNAs can act as competing endogenous RNAs or “sponges” by targeting and sequestrating miRNA to protect specific mRNAs, and as a “bridge” that interlinks the replication and pathogenesis of different types of viruses. Due to their broad characteristics and profound influence, lncRNAs are expected to be novel targets for the modulation of all types of biochemical processes involved in virus-associated pathogenesis. Open-ended questions include how viral lncRNAs’ structure–function relationship contributes to cellular immune evasion, whether lncRNAs act as virulence factors, and how viral lncRNAs coordinate cellular processes to support the virus life cycle.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts in the research of viral long non-coding RNAs in human, animal, and plant model systems. Manuscripts submitted to this Special Issue are guaranteed to have a quick and fair review process. Potential topics for the Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel functions of viral lncRNAs in virus replication and pathogenesis;
  • Long non-coding RNAs encoded by DNA and RNA viruses;
  • Satellite RNAs;
  • Viroids.

Dr. Joanna Sztuba-Solinska
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 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. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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.

Keywords

  • viral long non-coding RNAs
  • viral pathogenesis
  • RNA interactome
  • epitranscriptomics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
New Insights on the Mobility of Viral and Host Non-Coding RNAs Reveal Extracellular Vesicles as Intriguing Candidate Antiviral Targets
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 876; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110876 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 747
Abstract
Intercellular communication occurring by cell-to-cell contacts and via secreted messengers trafficked through extracellular vehicles is critical for regulating biological functions of multicellular organisms. Recent research has revealed that non-coding RNAs can be found in extracellular vesicles consistent with a functional importance of these [...] Read more.
Intercellular communication occurring by cell-to-cell contacts and via secreted messengers trafficked through extracellular vehicles is critical for regulating biological functions of multicellular organisms. Recent research has revealed that non-coding RNAs can be found in extracellular vesicles consistent with a functional importance of these molecular vehicles in virus propagation and suggesting that these essential membrane-bound bodies can be highjacked by viruses to promote disease pathogenesis. Newly emerging evidence that coronaviruses generate non-coding RNAs and use extracellular vesicles to facilitate viral pathogenicity may have important implications for the development of effective strategies to combat COVID-19, a disease caused by infection with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. This article provides a short overview of our current understanding of the interactions between non-coding RNAs and extracellular vesicles and highlights recent research which supports these interactions as potential therapeutic targets in the development of novel antiviral therapies. Full article
Review
Long Noncoding RNAs in Plant Viroids and Viruses: A Review
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090765 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1292
Abstract
Infectious long-noncoding (lnc) RNAs related to plants can be of both viral and non-viral origin. Viroids are infectious plant lncRNAs that are not related to viruses and carry the circular, single-stranded, non-coding RNAs that replicate with host enzymatic activities via a rolling circle [...] Read more.
Infectious long-noncoding (lnc) RNAs related to plants can be of both viral and non-viral origin. Viroids are infectious plant lncRNAs that are not related to viruses and carry the circular, single-stranded, non-coding RNAs that replicate with host enzymatic activities via a rolling circle mechanism. Viroids interact with host processes in complex ways, emerging as one of the most productive tools for studying the functions of lncRNAs. Defective (D) RNAs, another category of lnc RNAs, are found in a variety of plant RNA viruses, most of which are noncoding. These are derived from and are replicated by the helper virus. D RNA-virus interactions evolve into mutually beneficial combinations, enhancing virus fitness via competitive advantages of moderated symptoms. Yet the satellite RNAs are single-stranded and include either large linear protein-coding ss RNAs, small linear ss RNAs, or small circular ss RNAs (virusoids). The satellite RNAs lack sequence homology to the helper virus, but unlike viroids need a helper virus to replicate and encapsidate. They can attenuate symptoms via RNA silencing and enhancement of host defense, but some can be lethal as RNA silencing suppressor antagonists. Moreover, selected viruses produce lncRNAs by incomplete degradation of genomic RNAs. They do not replicate but may impact viral infection, gene regulation, and cellular functions. Finally, the host plant lncRNAs can also contribute during plant-virus interactions, inducing plant defense and the regulation of gene expression, often in conjunction with micro and/or circRNAs. Full article
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