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Publications (2)8.81 Total impact

  • Harel Zalts, Noam Shomron
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    ABSTRACT: The endocrine system controls various cellular functions, constitutes a communication network between cells and distant tissues, and is vital for maintaining homeostasis. The couriers of this system are the hormones, which are produced by endocrine cells, secreted into the bloodstream and interact with receptors to exert their effect. The regulatory effect is manifested by either activating signaling cascades or by altering transcription patterns. Though thoroughly examined, many aspects of the endocrine system's function are still unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short (approximately 22nt), non-coding RNAs that comprise a new subset of cellular regulatory molecules. MiRNAs regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally, by base pairing with the messenger RNA's (mRNA) 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). In recent years, miRNAs have emerged as key players in all cellular processes, and their aberrant expression has been linked with different types of disease and malignancies. This review focuses on the role of miRNAs in the function of the endocrine system, emphasizing the intricate reciprocal relationship between these two important regulatory systems.
    Pediatric endocrinology reviews: PER 06/2011; 8(4):354-62; quiz 362-3.
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that play a central role in regulation of gene expression by binding to target genes. Many miRNAs were associated with the function of the central nervous system (CNS) in health and disease. Astrocytes are the CNS most abundant glia cells, providing support by maintaining homeostasis and by regulating neuronal signaling, survival and synaptic plasticity. Astrocytes play a key role in repair of brain insults, as part of local immune reactivity triggered by inflammatory or pathological conditions. Thus, astrocyte activation, or astrogliosis, is an important outcome of the innate immune response, which can be elicited by endotoxins such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and cytokines such as interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). The involvement of miRNAs in inflammation and stress led us to hypothesize that astrogliosis is mediated by miRNA function. In this study, we compared the miRNA regulatory layer expressed in primary cultured astrocyte derived from rodents (mice) and primates (marmosets) brains upon exposure to LPS and IFN-γ. We identified subsets of differentially expressed miRNAs some of which are shared with other immunological related systems while others, surprisingly, are mouse and rat specific. Of interest, these specific miRNAs regulate genes involved in the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) signaling pathway, indicating a miRNA-based species-specific regulation. Our data suggests that miRNA function is more significant in the mechanisms governing astrocyte activation in rodents compared to primates.
    Nucleic Acids Research 01/2011; 39(9):3710-23. · 8.81 Impact Factor