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The Role of microRNAs in Drug Addiction:A Big Lesson from Tiny Molecules

Elsevier Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1016/s0074-7742(10)91001-5
  • Alcohol
  • Mir-9
  • Microrna
  • Non-Coding Rna
  • Bk Channel
  • Gene Regulation
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Alcoholism is a multifactorial disease of unclear molecular underpinnings. Currently, we are witnessing a major shift in our understanding of the functional elements of the genome, which could help us to discover novel insights into the nature of alcoholism. In humans, the vast majority of the genome encodes non-protein-coding DNA with unclear function. Recent research has started to unveil this mystery by describing the functional relevance of microRNAs, and examining which genes are regulated by non-protein-coding DNA. Here, I describe alcohol regulation of microRNAs and provide examples of microRNAs that control the expression of alcohol-relevant genes. Emphasis is put on the potential of microRNAs in explaining the polygenic nature of alcoholism and prospects of microRNA research and future directions of this burgeoning field.

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