Non-coding RNAs: the gatekeepers of neural network activity.

Affiliation

Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Non-coding RNAs have emerged as potent regulators of numerous cellular processes. In neurons and circuits, these molecules serve especially critical functions that ensure neural activity is maintained within appropriate physiological parameters. Their targets include synaptic proteins, ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors, and components of essential signaling cascades. Here, we discuss how several species of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) regulate intrinsic excitability and synaptic transmission, both during development and in mature circuits. Furthermore, we present the relationships between aberrant ncRNA expression and psychiatric disorders. The research presented here demonstrates how ncRNAs can be useful tools for elucidating fundamental neurobiology mechanisms and identifying the key molecular players.

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