From “Cellular” RNA to “Smart” RNA: Multiple Roles of RNA in Genome Stability and Beyond

Michelini, Flavia; Jalihal, Ameya P.; Francia, Sofia; Meers, Chance; Neeb, Zachary Thomas; Rossiello, Francesca; Gioia, Ubaldo; Aguado, Julio; Jones-Weinert, Corey; Luke, Brian; Biamonti, Giuseppe; Nowacki, Mariusz; Storici, Francesca; Carninci, Piero; Walter, Nils G.; Fagagna, Fabrizio d’Adda di (2018). From “Cellular” RNA to “Smart” RNA: Multiple Roles of RNA in Genome Stability and Beyond. Chemical reviews, 118(8), pp. 4365-4403. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00487

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Coding for proteins has been considered the main function of RNA since the “central dogma” of biology was proposed. The discovery of noncoding transcripts shed light on additional roles of RNA, ranging from the support of polypeptide synthesis, to the assembly of subnuclear structures, to gene expression modulation. Cellular RNA has therefore been recognized as a central player in often unanticipated biological processes, including genomic stability. This ever-expanding list of functions inspired us to think of RNA as a “smart” phone, which has replaced the older obsolete “cellular” phone. In this review, we summarize the last two decades of advances in research on the interface between RNA biology and genome stability. We start with an account of the emergence of noncoding RNA, and then we discuss the involvement of RNA in DNA damage signaling and repair, telomere maintenance, and genomic rearrangements. We continue with the depiction of single-molecule RNA detection techniques, and we conclude by illustrating the possibilities of RNA modulation in hopes of creating or improving new therapies. The widespread biological functions of RNA have made this molecule a reoccurring theme in basic and translational research, warranting it the transcendence from classically studied “cellular” RNA to “smart” RNA.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology > Ciliate
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology

UniBE Contributor:

Neeb, Zachary Thomas, Nowacki, Mariusz


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




American Chemical Society




Mariusz Nowacki

Date Deposited:

08 May 2018 14:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:12

Publisher DOI:


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