Dawn of Epitranscriptomic Medicine

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Abstract

Medicine is at the crossroads of expanding disciplines. Prompt adaptation of medicine to each rapidly advancing research field, bridging bench to bedside, is a key step toward health improvement. Cardiovascular disease still ranks first among the mortality causes in the Western world, indicating a poor adaptation rate of cardiovascular medicine, albeit the gigantic scientific breakthroughs of this century. This urges the cardiovascular research field to explore novel concepts with promising prognostic and therapeutic potential. This review attempts to introduce the newly emerging field of epitranscriptome (or else known as RNA epigenetics) to cardiovascular researchers and clinicians summarizing its applications on health and disease. The traditionally perceived, intermediate carrier of genetic information or as contemporary revised as, occasionally, even the final product of gene expression, RNA, is dynamically subjected to >140 different kinds of chemical modifications determining its fate, which may profoundly impact the cellular responses and thus both health and disease course. Which are the most prevalent types of these RNA modifications, how are they catalyzed, how are they regulated, which role may they play in health and disease, and which are the implications for the cardiovascular medicine are few important questions that are discussed in the present review.

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