Mandated: COVID-19 Vaccine for all participants
It has been more than a decade since scientists realized that microRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNAs) are not mere oddities invented by worms and flies to regulate gene expression at epigenetic and post-transcriptional levels. Rather, many of these 21-31-nucleotide-short RNAs function in invertebrates and vertebrates alike and some of them are highly conserved. In mammals, miRNAs are thought to inhibit gene expression by targeting mRNA stability and translation, while piRNAs suppress retrotransposons primarily in germ line cells. More recently, they have been joined in the limelight by long non-coding (lnc) RNAs, including long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs). lincRNAs affect gene expression by a variety of means including RNA, DNA, and protein binding. Nevertheless, the mechanisms whereby non-coding RNAs regulate mRNA transcription, subcellular localization, turnover, and translation remain incompletely understood – as do their implications for cell biology and pathophysiology. The goal of this meeting is two-fold. One is to review recent advances in non-coding RNA biology, from biosynthesis to function. The second is to discuss the use of therapeutic non-coding RNAs (including antisense RNAs, siRNAs, miRNA mimics and antagomirs, crRNAs of the CRISPR_Cas system, aptamers, etc) as tools to correct faulty gene expression in human disease.