Regulation of the epigenome through RNA modifications

Emmely A. Patrasso, Sweta Raikundalia, Daniel Arango*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Chemical modifications of nucleotides expand the complexity and functional properties of genomes and transcriptomes. A handful of modifications in DNA bases are part of the epigenome, wherein DNA methylation regulates chromatin structure, transcription, and co-transcriptional RNA processing. In contrast, more than 150 chemical modifications of RNA constitute the epitranscriptome. Ribonucleoside modifications comprise a diverse repertoire of chemical groups, including methylation, acetylation, deamination, isomerization, and oxidation. Such RNA modifications regulate all steps of RNA metabolism, including folding, processing, stability, transport, translation, and RNA’s intermolecular interactions. Initially thought to influence all aspects of the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression exclusively, recent findings uncovered a crosstalk between the epitranscriptome and the epigenome. In other words, RNA modifications feedback to the epigenome to transcriptionally regulate gene expression. The epitranscriptome achieves this feat by directly or indirectly affecting chromatin structure and nuclear organization. This review highlights how chemical modifications in chromatin-associated RNAs (caRNAs) and messenger RNAs (mRNAs) encoding factors involved in transcription, chromatin structure, histone modifications, and nuclear organization affect gene expression transcriptionally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-246
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Epigenome
  • Epitranscriptome
  • Gene expression
  • RNA modifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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