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Garza-Manero, Sylvia; Pichardo-Casas, Israel; Arias, Clorinda; Vaca, Luis; Zepeda, Angelica (2014)

SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTION AND DYNAMIC MODULATION OF MIRNAS IN THE SYNAPSE AND ITS POSSIBLE ROLE IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

Brain Res. 1584(SI):80-93
full text

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that control a wide range of functions in the cell. They act as post-transcriptional gene regulators throughout in development and in adulthood, although recent evidence suggests their potential role in the onset and development of various diseases and neuropathologies. In neurons miRNAs seem to play a key role as regulators of synaptic function. Synapses are vulnerable structures in neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, synaptic loss has been described as an early event in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). MicroRNA-mediated gene silencing represents a candidate event for the repression of specific mRNAs and protein synthesis that could account for synaptic dysfunction. In this work, we review the participation of miRNAs in synaptic function and consider their possible role in synaptic alterations in AD. First we review the biogenesis of miRNAs and their role as post-transcriptional regulators. Then we discuss recently published data on the distribution of miRNAs in the brain as well as their role in dynamic regulation at the synapse. In the second part, we briefly introduce the reader to AD, focusing on synaptic alterations in the progression of the pathology. Then we discuss possible implications of miRNAs in the associated synaptic dysfunction.