The first evidence that sugars decorate RNA could open up new therapeutic opportunities in autoimmunity and cancer, but industry won't invest until structural data and disease associations emerge.
Beyond the growing taxonomy of RNA subtypes defined by structure and function -- including microRNA (miRNA), long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), circular RNA (circRNA), small nuclear RNA (snRNA) and Y RNA -- an expanding roster of RNA modifications are adding complexity to the molecular class.
Analogous to methylation of DNA or phosphorylation of proteins, post-transcriptional modifications to RNA are carried out by enzymes. Over 140 such enzymes have been discovered, and at least three companies have launched to target them in cancer: Storm Therapeutics Ltd., Accent Therapeutics Inc. and Gotham Therapeutics Corp. (see “Taking RNA Epigenetics by Storm”; “Accent on RNA”; and “Gotham’s RNA Utility Belt”).
"It's almost like every day, there's a new