Macro Role(s) of MicroRNAs in Fragile X Syndrome?
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Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by the loss of functional fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP is an RNA-binding protein that can regulate the translation of specific mRNAs. It is known to regulate synaptic development through the regulation of local protein synthesis in synapses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs involved in almost every biological process. They exhibit spatiotemporal expression during brain development, and some miRNAs play important roles in neural development. A growing body of evidence now implicates the miRNA pathway in the molecular pathogenesis of FXS. Here we review the current state of knowledge about the microRNA pathway in neural development and the emergence of possible roles for miRNAs in FXS.
KeywordsMicroRNAs Fragile X syndrome Synaptic plasticity FMRP
We would like to thank C. Strauss for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by NIH grant (R01 MH076090). X.L. is supported by FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellowship. P.J. is a recipient of the Beckman Young Investigator Award and the Basil O’Connor Scholar Research Award, as well as an Alfred P Sloan Research Fellow in Neuroscience.
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