RNA BIOLOGY, vol.18, no.S2, pp.586-599, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
The field of epitranscriptomics is rapidly developing. Several modifications (e.g. methylations) have been identified for different RNA types. Current evidence shows that chemical RNA modifications can influence the whole molecule's secondary structure, translatability, functionality, stability, and degradation, and some are dynamically and reversibly modulated. miRNAs, in particular, are not only post-transcriptional modulators of gene expression but are themselves submitted to regulatory mechanisms. Understanding how these modifications are regulated and the resulting pathological consequences when dysregulation occurs is essential for the development of new therapeutic targets. In humans and other mammals, dietary components have been shown to affect miRNA expression and may also induce chemical modifications in miRNAs. The identification of chemical modifications in miRNAs (endogenous and exogenous) that can impact host gene expression opens up an alternative way to select new specific therapeutic targets. Hence, the aim of this review is to briefly address how RNA epitranscriptomic modifications can affect miRNA biogenesis and to summarize the existing evidence showing the connection between the (de)regulation of these processes and disease settings. In addition, we hypothesize on the potential effect certain chemical modifications could have on the potential cross-kingdom journey of dietary plant miRNAs.