Special Issue "Non-coding RNAs: Multiple Players in Human Diseases"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2023 | Viewed by 180

Special Issue Editor

Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Interests: non-coding RNA; epigenetics; genetics; neuroscience; genomics; biochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are a class of RNA molecules that are biologically functional but not translatable into a protein. Initially, ncRNAs referred to tRNAs and rRNAs. The ncRNA field has witnessed rapid growth, identifying several new classes of ncRNAs with the application of next-generation sequencing technologies. The new species of ncRNAs include small nuclear ribonucleic acid (snRNAs), small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs), small interference RNAs (siRNAs), piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), extracellular RNAs (exRNAs), long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs), small Cajal body-specific RNAs (scaRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNAs).

Although the approximate number of ncRNAs encoded within the mammalian genome has not been determined precisely, recent transcriptomic and bioinformatic studies predict the existence of a large quantity of ncRNAs in the human genome.

Functionally, many ncRNAs play essentially regulatory roles at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels epigenetically via various molecular mechanisms, such as heterochromatin formation, DNA methylation, histone modifications, and physical interactions with chromatin-modifying proteins to recruit them to specific loci in the genome for chromatin remodeling and transcriptional regulation. Particularly, the large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are associated with chromatin-modifying complexes that target specific genomic loci to promote specific epigenetic states.

Numerous reports have documented the regulation of ncRNAs, particularly miRNAs and lncRNAs, in a wide range of cellular processes. Consequently, they significantly contribute to the regulation of the reproduction, regeneration, growth, development, and aging of organisms, particularly in mammals, and to pathogenesis of many diseases, such as tumorigenesis neurological disorders and heart/kidney diseases. Indeed, the emerging evidence has linked the aberrant generation of lncRNAs to down-regulation of the tumor suppressor genes and activation of the oncogenes.

A previous Special Issue in Cells, entitled “Non-coding RNAs: Epigenetic Players Implicated in Human Diseases”, was very successful, and comprises eight papers and reviews concerning various aspects of neuropsychiatric diseases. However, ncRNA is a broad and hot research field. It is difficult to cover it in one Special Issue. Therefore, we aim to work towards creating an additional Special Issue on this topic.

This Special Issue will focus on ncRNAs, particularly cirRNAs and lncRNAs, while other small RNAs, such as miRNAs and piRNAs, are also included due to their extensive functional characterization and the emerging interest on their therapeutic potential for stubborn diseases, such as neurological disorders and cancers.

We invite investigators in the field of ncRNAs and ncRNAs-mediated diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiac diseases, hematological diseases, and cancers, to contribute original research articles as well as review articles. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Bioinformatic and transcriptomic tools for the identification and characterization of ncRNAs, particularly the unclassified ncRNAs;
  • The latest technologies for predicting the structure and function of novel cirRNAs and lncRNAs in model and non-model organisms;
  • Distribution and characterization of ncRNAs in transcriptomes among the model and non-model organisms;
  • Regulation, functions, and mechanism of lncRNAs and cirRNAs in a wide range of cell processes, such as the metabolic pathways;
  • Potential links between the aberrant expression levels of ncRNAs and pathogenesis of some stubborn diseases, including cancer, neurological disorders, heart /kidney diseases;
  • Recent developments in the diagnosis of cancers, neurological diseases, and other genetic diseases with the implications of ncRNAs;
  • Targeting or delivery ncRNAs for therapy of cancer, neurological diseases, etc.;
  • Epitranscriptome modifications of lncRNAs in reproduction, regeneration, growth, development, and aging.

Please note: Any manuscripts solely based on public datasets without biological validations are not considered for deep review.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Cells.

Dr. Yujing Li
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.


  • non-coding RNA
  • human disease
  • epigenetic marker
  • therapy
  • pathogenesis
  • transcriptome

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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