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Front Mol Neurosci. 2016 Nov 21;9:128. eCollection 2016.

Role of microRNAs in the Regulation of α-Synuclein Expression: A Systematic Review.

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Department of Neurogenetics, Kolling Institute, The Royal North Shore Hospital, Northern Sydney Local Health DistrictSt. Leonards, NSW, Australia; Northern Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, University of SydneySydney, NSW, Australia.
Neurodegenerative Disease Laboratory, Vall d'Hebron Research Institute and Centre for Networked Biomedical Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED) Barcelona, Spain.


Growing evidence suggests that increased levels of α-synuclein might contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and therefore, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms underlying α-synuclein expression. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of gene expression involved in several diseases such as PD and other neurodegenerative disorders. A systematic literature search was performed here to identify microRNAs that directly or indirectly impact in α-synuclein expression/accumulation and describe its mechanism of action. A total of 27 studies were incorporated in the review article showing evidences that six microRNAs directly bind and regulate α-synuclein expression while several miRNAs impact on α-synuclein expression indirectly by targeting other genes. In turn, α-synuclein overexpression also impacts miRNAs expression, indicating the complex network between miRNAs and α-synuclein. From the current knowledge on the central role of α-synuclein in PD pathogenesis/progression, miRNAs are likely to play a crucial role at different stages of PD and might potentially be considered as new PD therapeutic approaches.


Parkinson’s disease; alpha-synuclein; gene expression; gene regulation; miRNA; microRNA; α-synuclein

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