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Can J Neurol Sci. 2010 Mar;37(2):177-85.

MicroRNA signatures in neurological disorders.

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Institute of Genetics & Hospital for Genetic Diseases, Begumpet Hyderabad-AP, India.


A class of small, non-coding transcripts called microRNAs (miRNAs) that play a major role in post-transcriptional gene regulation has recently emerged and become the focus of intense research. MicroRNAs are abundant in the nervous system, where they have key roles in development and are likely to be important mediators of plasticity. A highly conserved pathway of miRNA biogenesis is closely linked to the transport and translatability of mRNAs in neurons. MicroRNAs have been shown to modulate programmed cell death during development. Although there are nearly 750 known human miRNA sequences, each of only approximately 20-25 nucleotides in length that bind to multiple mRNA targets, the accurate prediction of miRNA targets seems to lie just beyond our grasp. Nevertheless, the identification of such targets promises to provide new insights into many facets of neuronal function. In this review, we briefly describe miRNA biogenesis and the principle approaches for studying the function of miRNAs and potential application of miRNAs as biomarkers, diagnostic targets, and potential therapeutic tools of human diseases in general and neurological disorders in particular.

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