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miR-212/132 expression and functions: within and beyond the neuronal compartment

Authors
Journal
Nucleic Acids Research
0305-1048
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Volume
40
Issue
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks151
Keywords
  • Survey And Summary
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

During the last two decades, microRNAs (miRNAs) emerged as critical regulators of gene expression. By modulating the expression of numerous target mRNAs mainly at the post-transcriptional level, these small non-coding RNAs have been involved in most, if not all, biological processes as well as in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases. miR-132 and miR-212 are tandem miRNAs whose expression is necessary for the proper development, maturation and function of neurons and whose deregulation is associated with several neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and tauopathies (neurodegenerative diseases resulting from the pathological aggregation of tau protein in the human brain). Although their involvement in neuronal functions is the most described, evidences point towards a role of these miRNAs in many other biological processes, including inflammation and immune functions. Incidentally, miR-132 was recently classified as a ‘neurimmiR’, a class of miRNAs operating within and between the neural and immune compartments. In this review, we propose an outline of the current knowledge about miR-132 and miR-212 functions in neurons and immune cells, by describing the signalling pathways and transcription factors regulating their expression as well as their putative or demonstrated roles and validated mRNA targets.

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