Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 12, pp 1103–1112

MicroRNAs in neural cell development and brain diseases

Authors

  • Wei Feng
    • Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineEmory University
    • Department of Pharmacology, School of MedicineEmory University
Open AccessSpecial Topic MicroRNA and diseases

DOI: 10.1007/s11427-011-4249-8

Cite this article as:
Feng, W. & Feng, Y. Sci. China Life Sci. (2011) 54: 1103. doi:10.1007/s11427-011-4249-8

Abstract

MicroRNAs play important roles in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by inhibiting protein translation and/or promoting mRNA degradation. Importantly, biogenesis of microRNAs displays specific temporal and spatial profiles in distinct cell and tissue types and hence affects a broad spectrum of biological functions in normal cell growth and tumor development. Recent discoveries have revealed sophisticated mechanisms that control microRNA production and homeostasis in response to developmental and extracellular signals. Moreover, a link between dysregulation of microRNAs and human brain disorders has become increasingly evident. In this review, we focus on recent advances in understanding the regulation of microRNA biogenesis and function in neuronal and glial development in the mammalian brain, and dysregulation of the microRNA pathway in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.

Keywords

microRNAsneuronal developmentsynaptic plasticityoligodendroglial differentiationbrain tumorneurodegenerative disorders
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© The Author(s) 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.