RNA and disease

Cell. 2009 Feb 20;136(4):777-93. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.02.011.


Cellular functions depend on numerous protein-coding and noncoding RNAs and the RNA-binding proteins associated with them, which form ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs). Mutations that disrupt either the RNA or protein components of RNPs or the factors required for their assembly can be deleterious. Alternative splicing provides cells with an exquisite capacity to fine-tune their transcriptome and proteome in response to cues. Splicing depends on a complex code, numerous RNA-binding proteins, and an enormously intricate network of interactions among them, increasing the opportunity for exposure to mutations and misregulation that cause disease. The discovery of disease-causing mutations in RNAs is yielding a wealth of new therapeutic targets, and the growing understanding of RNA biology and chemistry is providing new RNA-based tools for developing therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Disease / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • RNA / therapeutic use
  • RNA Splicing
  • Therapeutics


  • RNA