• Special Issue Topic

    RNA World in Health and Disease

    Submission Deadline: June 30, 2024

    Guest Editors

    Dr. Marco Ragusa E-Mail

    Professor, Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy

    Research Keywords: miRNAs; cancer; non-coding RNAs; incRNA; circRNA; neurobiology; computation biology

    Dr. Cristina Barbagallo E-Mail

    Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Università degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy

    Research Keywords: microRNAs; non-coding RNAs; long non-coding RNAs; transcriptomic

    About the Special Issue

    For many years, proteins were considered the main determining factors for the functioning of cells and organisms and their dysfunctions were assumed as the first cause of pathologies. This protein-centred view has been predominant in biology and biomedicine, but it was too simplistic to explain the complexity of the cell and the elusiveness of complex diseases. Today, it is well known that about 80% of our genome is dynamically and pervasively transcribed, mostly as non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). NcRNAs (e.g., miRNAs, lncRNAs, circRNAs) can bind DNA and proteins and interact with and regulate each other through various molecular mechanisms generating a complex network including different species of RNAs. Such a hidden network of RNA-RNA competitive interactions modulates the physiological functioning of canonical protein-coding pathways. NcRNAs constitute multiple control layers on classically known coding layers in cells by modulating chromatin architecture, gene transcription, RNA processing, stability and translation. Accordingly, their molecular dysregulations are strongly involved in the onset and progression of many pathologies, including cancers and degenerative diseases. The discovery of the critical role of ncRNAs in the cell’s physio-pathology shed new light on the understanding of molecular bases of complex diseases. Moreover, an impressive number of studies has shown that ncRNAs are secreted by cells into biological fluids (e.g., serum or plasma) as signals for the other cells through a hormone-like mechanism. The evidences that different pathological conditions specifically alter these RNA-based signals in extracellular environment pave the way to the exploitation of ncRNA dosage in biological fluids for diagnostic or prognostic purposes. 

    This Special Issue of Exploration of Medicine will encompass new research articles and reviews on the role of cellular and extracellular ncRNAs in physio-pathological conditions and their potential applications diagnostics and therapy.  

    Keywords: miRNAs, lncRNAs, circRNAs, epigenetics, extracellular vesicles, cancers, degenerative diseases

    Call for Papers

    Published Articles

    Open Access
    The coevolution of Covid-19 and host immunity
    The dynamic of the virus-host interaction is subject to constant evolution, which makes it difficult to predict when the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic will become endemic. Vaccines in conjunction with efforts [...] Read more.
    Azizul Haque, Anudeep B. Pant
    Published: April 08, 2024 Explor Med. 2024;5:167–184
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/emed.2024.00214
    Times Cited: 0
    Open Access
    Self-replicating RNA viruses in vaccine development
    Self-replicating RNA viruses such as alphaviruses, flaviviruses, paramyxoviruses, and rhabdoviruses have been engineered as expression vectors for vaccine development. The prominent feature of self- [...] Read more.
    Kenneth Lundstrom
    Published: October 10, 2023 Explor Med. 2023;4:670–687
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/emed.2023.00168
    Times Cited: 0
    Open Access
    RNA-RNA competitive interactions: a molecular civil war ruling cell physiology and diseases
    The idea that proteins are the main determining factors in the functioning of cells and organisms, and their dysfunctions are the first cause of pathologies, has been predominant in biology and biom [...] Read more.
    Cristina Barbagallo ... Marco Ragusa
    Published: August 31, 2023 Explor Med. 2023;4:504–540
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/emed.2023.00159
    Times Cited: 0
    Open Access
    m6 RNA methylation: an emerging common target in the immune response to cancer and severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection
    m6A RNA methylation, a predominant type of RNA modification, is involved in regulating mRNA splicing, stability, and translation as well as the interaction between nucleoproteins and noncoding RNAs. [...] Read more.
    Hiromichi Sato ... Hideshi Ishii
    Published: February 28, 2023 Explor Med. 2023;4:107–114
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.37349/emed.2023.00127
    Times Cited: 0