The recent years have witnessed a revolution in the field of RNA structure and function. Until recently the main contribution of RNA in cellular and disease functions was considered to be a role defined by the central dogma, namely DNA codes for mRNAs, which in turn encode for proteins, a notion facilitated by non-coding ribosomal RNA and tRNA. It was also assumed at the time that less than 2% of DNA in the human genome was used to encode genes, the remainder considered “junk”. Subsequent research has unequivocally determined that RNA mediates a plethora of functions vital to cellular activity as well as clinically-significant diseases. In turn, it was discovered that the amount of DNA that encodes functional RNAs also increased significantly. This special journal issue, containing 19 articles, describes several of the computational and experimental methodologies that are used to determine RNA structure and function that enables the application of this knowledge for therapeutic purposes.
Shapiro BA, Le Grice SF (Editors). Advances in RNA Structure Determination. Methods. 2016 Jul 1;103:1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2016.06.006. PubMed PMID: 27342006.