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Neuroscience and Psychiatry |

How MicroRNAs Are Involved in Splitting the Mind

Li-Huei Tsai, PhD1,2; Sandra Siegert, PhD3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
2Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
3Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria
JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(4):409-410. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.3144.
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This commentary provides an introduction to the role of microRNAs in the nervous system and outlines their potential involvement in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

This article provides an introduction to the role of microRNAs in the nervous system and outlines their potential involvement in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, which is hypothesized to arise owing to environmental factors and genetic predisposition.

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Figure.
Schematic Overview of MicroRNA (MiRNA) Generation in the Neuron and Its Consequences

MicroRNA (orange) are transcribed from the DNA and processed into different precursor products via the enzymes Drosha and Dicer. The mature miRNAs interact with their target messenger RNAs (mRNAs; green), causing either degradation of the mRNA, inhibition of mRNA translation to a functional protein, or storing the mRNA. The gene names in purple outline a small number of confirmed target genes for the schizophrenia-associated miR-137 and their effect at the presynaptic site (Cplx1, Nsf, Syn3, and Syt1), the postsynaptic site (GluA1), in the immune response (Csmd1 and Cox-2), and in epigenetic regulation (Exh2, Jarid1b, Lsd1, Tcf4, and Runx2). The gene names in blue are confirmed miR-9-5p target genes.

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