Special Issue "RNA Modifications in All Kingdoms of Life"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 January 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Katharina Höfer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University , 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Interests: RNA modification; NAD-capped RNA; decapping enzymes; RNA biochemistry; Escherichia coli

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasingly complex functionality of RNA is contrasted by its simple chemical composition. RNA is generally built up from only four basic building blocks: adenosine, cytidine, guanosine, and uridine. Interestingly, RNA molecules such as tRNAs or rRNAs are decorated by a multitude of chemical modifications to support their diverse coding, structural, and catalytic functions. The location, abundance, and distribution of various types of RNA modification are dependent on the organism as well as environmental conditions. Most known modifications occur at internal positions, either at the base or at the sugar moiety, while there is limited diversity at the 5’-end. Generally, the 5’-end is a triphosphate, diphosphate, monophosphate, or hydroxyl, and recent evidence indicates that the 5’-status is an important determinant for molecular recognition. Many modified nucleosides are conserved throughout bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, while some are unique to each branch of life.

The detection and identification of RNA modifications has a long history and dates back to the early days of molecular biology. The power of novel next-generation sequencing techniques set the foundation for identifying and studying RNA modifications. In recent years, several 5’ and internal RNA modifications have been described. The dynamic nature of these RNA modifications, as well as the discovery of regulatory functions for some of these RNA modifications, gave birth to a new field, now often referred to as “epitranscriptomics”. Much attention has been drawn to eukaryotic mRNA modifications. However, transcriptome-wide studies to characterize internal or 5’-terminal mRNA modifications have surfaced only in the past five years.

This Special Issue will present a platform for discussing these new developments in the field of mRNA and tRNA modifications in all kingdoms of life. Of particular interest are methods for identifying, quantifying, and characterizing the epitranscriptome. Moreover, this Special Issue provides a platform on which to present mechanistic insights into how RNA modifications are generated, modified, or removed. Finally, attention will be drawn to the most important question: what is the cellular function of 5’-terminal, as well as internal, mRNA and tRNA modifications?

Dr. Katharina Höfer
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 papers will be 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. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2000 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.


  • RNA methylation
  • M6A modification
  • Inosine as an RNA modification
  • Pseudouridylation
  • m5C-modification in RNA
  • Cofactor-modified RNA
  • Alarmones as RNA cap
  • Non-canonical initiating nucleotides (NCINs)
  • NAD-tag-Seq
  • dRNA-Seq
  • Cappable-Seq
  • RNA modification detection via Oxford Nanopore 

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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