For many years, RNA was thought to have something of a supplementary role in genome function – an intermediate in the flow of biological information from gene to protein. In recent years, however, the centrality of RNA as a key player in gene expression has become clear; it is far from being merely a staging post between gene and protein. Instead, new insights into RNA structure and function have revolutionized our view of molecular biology, and the role of RNA in the evolution of life itself.
Molecular Biology of RNA provides a broad survey of RNA structure and function examining the life cycle of an RNA, placing particular emphasis on post-transcriptional events – including post-transcriptional processing and splicing – to reveal how hugely diverse gene products stem from a relatively modest gene pool. It also describes how RNA molecules have a range of biological functions beyond that of the messenger RNA, including roles as catalysts and regulatory molecules.
Throughout Molecular Biology of RNA, descriptions of our current understanding of the field are augmented with examples of pioneer RNA researchers and their key experiments, demonstrating how Science has reached the current level of understanding. Further, boxes illustrate the involvement of RNA in the aetiology of human disease, showing how an understanding of the molecular biology of RNA is central to understanding disease processes and their potential treatment.
"This comprehensive textbook is pitched at just the right level and explains the concepts in sufficient detail to make them come to life without swamping the uninitiated with confusing information and jargon. The authors have to be congratulated on the comprehensive nature of the textbook, which means that even RNA aficionados will find useful information within its pages."
– Ilan Davis, University of Oxford in Development
"All aspects of RNA biology are described clearly [...] One type of molecule, one book, up to date [...] A book on RNA like this is just in time. I am planning to start a MSc course on just RNA and this would be the book to use. "
– Dr J Kooter, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
"There are currently no suitable textbooks (on Molecular Biology of RNA) that I am aware of, and thus this book fills a very useful niche. "
– Dr S Valadkhan, Case Western Reserve University
2. The versatility of RNA structure
3. RNA catalysis
4. The RNA binding proteins
5. Capping, cleavage and nuclear polyadenylation
6. Pre-mRNA splicing nuts and bolts
7. How Pre-mRNAs are decoded by the splicing machinery
8. Regulated pre-mRNA processing - alternative splicing
9. Alternative splicing in development and disease
10. Nucleocytoplasmic traffic of mRNA
11. Nucleocytoplasmic traffic of non-coding RNA
12. Messenger RNA localisation
13. Messenger RNA translation
14. Messenger RNA stability and decay
15. RNA editing
16. rRNA and tRNA processing
17. Long non-coding RNAs
18. RNA interference and short non-coding RNAs
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