Why non-coding RNAs
Historically, RNA has been thought of as a messenger whose role is to translate information from DNA into proteins. However, the vast majority of our DNA is copied into RNAs that do not make proteins. These RNA molecules, called “non-coding RNAs” have now been shown to have an essential role in our cells by interacting with and modulating the activities of proteins that participate in critical cellular events.
These interactions, when dysregulated, can drive pathogenic processes in multiple disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and neurology. Therefore, non-coding RNAs, in particular long non-coding RNAs and their interacting proteins, represent a vast and untapped class of therapeutic targets. The key to understanding how non-coding RNAs can drive disease is by elucidating the proteins they interact with and what cellular processes they affect. In turn, small molecules can be designed to drug these RNA-protein interactions.