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MicroRNAs - small RNAs with a big influence on brain excitability

Morris, Gareth; (2023) MicroRNAs - small RNAs with a big influence on brain excitability. The Journal of Physiology 10.1113/JP283719. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

MicroRNAs are non-coding RNAs, approximately 22 nt in length, which serve to negatively regulate gene expression through binding to complementary sequences in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of target mRNA. The microRNA-target interaction does not require perfect complementarity, meaning that an individual microRNA often has a pool of hundreds of gene targets. Equally, one 3'UTR can contain target sites for many different microRNAs. This gives rise to a complex web of molecular interactions. An emerging concept is that microRNAs have a role as 'master' regulators of certain cellular properties, simultaneously mediating the subtle repression of multiple related genes within a pathway or system, thereby achieving a common phenotypic output. One such example is regulation of brain excitability. There are numerous examples of microRNAs which can target ion channels, ion transporters and genes associated with synaptic transmission. Often, the expression of the microRNA itself is regulated in an activity-dependent manner, thereby forming homeostatic loops. Limitations in our understanding arise from the sheer complexity of microRNA-target interactions, which are difficult to capture experimentally and computationally. Further, many microRNA studies rely on animal model systems, but many microRNAs (and mRNA targets) have sequences which are either not conserved or are entirely unique in the human brain. This leaves many exciting and challenging opportunities to further progress the field in an attempt to fully understand the roles of microRNAs in brain function.

Type: Article
Title: MicroRNAs - small RNAs with a big influence on brain excitability
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1113/JP283719
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1113/JP283719
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Homeostatic plasticity, ion channels, noncoding RNA, synaptic transmission
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167683
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