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J Mol Neurosci. 2006;28(2):103-9.

Brain-specific small nucleolar RNAs.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.


Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are a group of noncoding RNAs that function mainly as guides for modification of ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). A subgroup of snoRNAs was found to be predominantly expressed in the brain; and interestingly, these brain-specific snoRNAs (b-snoRNAs) appear not to be involved in modification of rRNAs and snRNAs, raising the question of what their function and targets might be. Expression studies of b-snoRNAs in mice have shown potential involvement of two b-snoRNAs, MBII-48 and MBII-52, in learning and memory. HBII-52, the human homolog of MBII-52, appears to be involved with regulation of 5-HT(2C) receptor subunit mRNA. Furthermore, several reports link the disruption of expression of a specific b-snoRNA, HBII-85, with a neurobehavioral disorder, Prader-Willi syndrome. This paper reviews the current knowledge of the properties, expression, and functions of b-snoRNAs.

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