MicroRNA networks direct neuronal development and plasticity
SourceCellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 69, 1, (2012), pp. 89-102
Article / Letter to editor
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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
SubjectDCN MP - Plasticity and memory; NCMLS 6: Genetics and epigenetic pathways of disease DCN MP - Plasticity and memory
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a class of small, non-coding RNAs that act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. In neurons, the functions of individual miRNAs are just beginning to emerge, and recent studies have elucidated roles for neural miRNAs at various stages of neuronal development and maturation, including neurite outgrowth, dendritogenesis, and spine formation. Notably, miRNAs regulate mRNA translation locally in the axosomal and synaptodendritic compartments, and thereby contribute to the dynamic spatial organization of axonal and dendritic structures and their function. Given the critical role for miRNAs in regulating early brain development and in mediating synaptic plasticity later in life, it is tempting to speculate that the pathology of neurological disorders is affected by altered expression or functioning of miRNAs. Here we provide an overview of recently identified mechanisms of neuronal development and plasticity involving miRNAs, and the consequences of miRNA dysregulation.
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