Schratt, G, Tuebing, F, Nigh, EA, Kane, CG, Sabatini, ME, Kiebler, M et al.. A brain-specific microRNA regulates dendritic spine development. Nature 439: 283-289

Neurobiology Program, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 02/2006; 439(7074):283-9. DOI: 10.1038/nature04367
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that control the translation of target messenger RNAs, thereby regulating critical aspects of plant and animal development. In the mammalian nervous system, the spatiotemporal control of mRNA translation has an important role in synaptic development and plasticity. Although a number of microRNAs have been isolated from the mammalian brain, neither the specific microRNAs that regulate synapse function nor their target mRNAs have been identified. Here we show that a brain-specific microRNA, miR-134, is localized to the synapto-dendritic compartment of rat hippocampal neurons and negatively regulates the size of dendritic spines--postsynaptic sites of excitatory synaptic transmission. This effect is mediated by miR-134 inhibition of the translation of an mRNA encoding a protein kinase, Limk1, that controls spine development. Exposure of neurons to extracellular stimuli such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor relieves miR-134 inhibition of Limk1 translation and in this way may contribute to synaptic development, maturation and/or plasticity.

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Available from: Michael A Kiebler, Jan 06, 2014
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    • "play important roles in multiple biological processes, including brain development (Krichevsky et al., 2003), synapse formation (Schratt et al., 2006), synaptic plasticity (Smalheiser and Lugli, 2009; Cohen et al., 2011), and neuroimmune signaling (Soreq and Wolf, 2011). microRNAs control both translational repression and degradation , and they also act in concert with RNA-binding proteins to pinpoint their target mRNAs, which often occurs through interaction with cis-acting elements. "
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    • ". It is well-known that miRNAs modulate gene expression post-transcriptionally to infl uence various aspects of neuronal functions from cell fate determination to synaptic plasticity. For example, miR-124a and miR-9 are essential for neural lineage differentiation and are involved in determining neural progenitor differentiation into neurons or glia [38] , while miR-134 is located in synapses and is involved in spine development [39] . "
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