13 June 2024
Introducing 'RNAkine': Classifying Extracellular ncRNA Signaling

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The realm of RNA research experienced a pivotal moment between 2007 and 2008 when multiple research teams concurrently unveiled the presence of extracellular noncoding RNA (ncRNA) sequences. This finding shifted the focus of ncRNA studies from intracellular regulation to their potential in extracellular ncRNA signaling, facilitating intercellular communication. The proposed ‘RNAkine’ nomenclature aims to standardize the naming of these signaling molecules.

Introducing a New Nomenclature for Extracellular ncRNAs: RNAkine



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In the world of RNA research, there have been some exciting developments in recent years. One of the most significant breakthroughs occurred in 2007 and 2008 when researchers discovered intact noncoding RNA (ncRNA) sequences in the extracellular space. This discovery opened up a whole new field of study, shifting our focus from the regulatory roles of RNA within cells to their signaling properties in cell-to-cell communication.

The Significance of Extracellular ncRNAs

Extracellular ncRNAs, also known as RNAkines, travel through the extracellular space by associating with extracellular vesicles (EVs) or proteins. These RNAkines have been found to play important roles in various physiological and pathological processes. They act as regulators in a diverse range of essential biological processes, signaling homeostatic changes between cells.

The Need for a New Nomenclature

While the significance of extracellular ncRNAs is increasingly recognized, there has been a lack of universally accepted terminology for identifying these molecules. Terms like EV-RNAs and secreted RNAs have been proposed, but they don’t fully capture the unique characteristics and significance of these molecules as factors in intercellular communication.

To address this issue, a research team from Nanjing University and the University of Cambridge has introduced a new nomenclature called “RNAkine.” The term “RNAkine” leverages the suffix “-kine,” which originally means movement and action, to vividly reflect the properties of extracellular ncRNAs as regulators in biological processes.

What Sets RNAkines Apart

RNAkines, such as circular RNAs (circRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), are a unique category of nucleic acids that function in intercellular communication. They differ from conventional signaling molecules in many aspects, and their signaling capabilities are distinct. RNAkines act as endogenous ncRNAs, simultaneously targeting different components of biological networks, leading to coordinated and integrated responses.

Furthermore, RNAkines have different but co-dependent roles with conventional signaling molecules in specific physiological processes or diseases. While conventional signaling molecules often work for the central control of whole-body homeostasis, RNAkines typically support the functionality of local tissues.

The Importance of the RNAkine Nomenclature

The introduction of the term “RNAkine” helps establish a unique and self-contained category for extracellular ncRNAs. It provides a precise definition of these molecules, fosters consensus among researchers, and holds the potential for widespread acceptance within the scientific and clinical communities.

Understanding the nuanced hierarchical roles of conventional signaling molecules and RNAkines in biological processes is an area that requires further study. The term “RNAkine” can help indicate the different regulatory scales of these molecules in specific biological processes.

In conclusion, extracellular RNAs with actively released and signaling capabilities in cell-to-cell communication can be identified as RNAkines. This new nomenclature brings clarity and precision to the field of RNA research and paves the way for future discoveries and advancements in our understanding of these fascinating molecules.

Read More: Researchers propose ‘RNAkine’ nomenclature for naming extracellular ncRNAs

https://phys.org/news/2024-01-rnakine-nomenclature-extracellular-ncrnas.html

FAQ’s

1. What are extracellular ncRNAs?

Extracellular ncRNAs, also known as RNAkines, are noncoding RNA sequences that are found in the extracellular space. They play important roles in cell-to-cell communication and signaling.

2. Why is a new nomenclature needed for extracellular ncRNAs?

A new nomenclature is needed because there has been a lack of universally accepted terminology for identifying these molecules. Existing terms like EV-RNAs and secreted RNAs do not fully capture the unique characteristics and significance of extracellular ncRNAs.

3. What sets RNAkines apart from conventional signaling molecules?

RNAkines, such as circular RNAs (circRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), have distinct signaling capabilities. They act as endogenous ncRNAs and target different components of biological networks, leading to coordinated and integrated responses. They also have different but co-dependent roles with conventional signaling molecules in specific physiological processes or diseases.

4. Why is the RNAkine nomenclature important?

The RNAkine nomenclature helps establish a unique and self-contained category for extracellular ncRNAs. It provides a precise definition of these molecules, fosters consensus among researchers, and holds the potential for widespread acceptance within the scientific and clinical communities.

5. How can the RNAkine nomenclature aid in understanding biological processes?

The RNAkine nomenclature can help indicate the different regulatory scales of RNAkines and conventional signaling molecules in specific biological processes. It enables researchers to better understand the hierarchical roles of these molecules and their contributions to physiological processes.



Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: RNAkine, Extracellular ncRNAs, Noncoding RNA

Non-coding RNA
A non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is a functional RNA molecule that is not translated into a protein. The DNA sequence from which a functional non-coding RNA is transcribed is often called an RNA gene. Abundant and functionally important types of non-coding RNAs include transfer RNAs (tRNAs) and ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), as...
Read more: Non-coding RNA

Non-coding RNA
A non-coding RNA (ncRNA) is a functional RNA molecule that is not translated into a protein. The DNA sequence from which a functional non-coding RNA is transcribed is often called an RNA gene. Abundant and functionally important types of non-coding RNAs include transfer RNAs (tRNAs) and ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), as...
Read more: Non-coding RNA

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