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Noncoding RNAs: The Master Regulators Governing Gene Expression

Call for Papers

It has been shown by multiple studies that protein-coding genes are under the strict regulation of different regulatory elements. The number of regulators governing the expression of regulatory genes has increased severalfold in multiple conditions like in diseases, growth, and developmental phase. Master regulators can be classified in different ways: this includes epigenetic modification, transcription factors, RNA-binding proteins, and transposons. Noncoding RNAs are an example of master regulators governing gene expression transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally. These master regulators have been disregarded for a long time as being unimportant. Recent studies have shown that noncoding RNAs regulate the expression of several important genes and are associated not only with human diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease but also with plant stress, pathogen response, and cell proliferation.

The role of master regulators in the regulation of important processes of the cell reflects the importance and impact on the genome dynamics and integrity, which has now become the forefront of majority of studies in one way or another. Increasing availability of high-throughput sequencing data and in-depth study of the small and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs like HOTAIR, MALAT1, and others) has led us to new frontiers in understanding the complexity behind different regulatory pathways. Even in plants, the master regulators have aided in the evolution, adaptation, and plasticity of genomes, which helped the species to develop a different mechanism to cope with environmental stresses including both biotic and abiotic stresses. Various studies in plant and animal models have shown that the master regulators have the unmatched potential to regulate numerous lethal diseases like cancer.

This special issue focuses on identification of such master regulators and the involvement of master regulators in regulating biological function using bioinformatics approaches in both animal and plant models. Master regulators are nowadays gaining more and more limelight due to potential role in various human and plant diseases which are mostly identified using various bioinformatics approaches and data mining from public databases. We aim to cover diverse topics related to the master regulators about their biogenesis, function, and involvement in various biological models in animal and plant models. We also welcome reviews that show the importance of master regulators and their role in biological systems. The aim of this issue is to help the readers of the journal to comprehend tremendous potential of these master regulators.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Posttranscriptional regulation including miRNA targeting
  • miRNA prediction
  • Next-generation sequencing data analysis with respect to ncRNAs and gene regulation
  • Role of long noncoding RNAs
  • Coexpression networks
  • Identification of long ncRNAs and their role in diseases

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 4 May 2018
Publication DateSeptember 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

Lead Guest Editor

  • Ashwani Jha, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Guest Editors