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microRNAs in neurodegeneration

Authors
Journal
Current Opinion in Neurobiology
0959-4388
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
18
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2008.07.001
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

microRNAs (miRNAs) act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in diverse cellular and developmental processes. Many miRNAs are expressed specifically in the central nervous system, where they have roles in differentiation, neuronal survival, and potentially also in plasticity and learning. The absence of miRNAs in a variety of specific postmitotic neurons can lead to progressive loss of these neurons and behavioral defects reminiscent of the phenotypes seen in the pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we review recent studies which provide a link between miRNA function and neurodegeneration. We also discuss evidence which might suggest involvement of miRNAs in the emergence or progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

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