MicroRNA expression and turnover are regulated by neural activity in the retina and brain

May 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) found that microRNAs, small RNA regulators of gene expression, are up- and down-regulated in the retina during light-dark adaptation and in response to synaptic stimulation in hippocampal and cortical neurons. This important discovery provides an unexpected function for microRNAs: it shows that they are able to regulate rapidly the expression of synaptic proteins, which are involved in synapse plasticity and memory formation.

Bring a neurobiologist and an expert in microRNA biology together and you will merge two fields at the frontiers of life science and create research hypothesis that could be tremendously successful but which could just as easily fail. "Our initial idea was very speculative. We had no certainty what so ever that this project could be successful," say Witold Filipowicz and Botond Roska, Group Leaders at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and corresponding authors of a recent publication in Cell. "But we had the tools and the expertise to test it." And so they did, with groundbreaking results.

A team of scientist around Witold Filipowicz and Botond Roska, also including collaborators from other FMI groups, showed that levels of microRNAs, tiny RNA regulators of gene expression, respond to different types of stimulation in neurons. They could show that in the of the mouse retina, the levels of a set of clearly defined microRNA species increase rapidly upon stimulation with light due to upregulated transcription.and that a glutamate transporter Slc1a1, a protein important for synaptic transmission, is controlled specifically by these microRNAs that are up regulated by light.

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The FMI scientists also discovered that microRNAs in neurons, both retinal and non-retinal, turn over very rapidly and that microRNA decay is tightly regulated by . "So far microRNA molecules have been considered very stable with half-lives extending even to days",explains Witold Filipowicz. "To find now a subset of microRNAs that are reversibly up- and down-regulated in the retina during light-dark adaptation, and in other neurons in response to synaptic stimulation, changes our perception of the role of microRNAs in neurons and in the processes in the brain."

"Have we found a mechanism that explains gene regulation generally in the retina and the brain? I don't think so. But it is a mechanism that plays a role and that should not be neglected in future studies of synaptic plasticity and ," explains Botond Roska. It will be particularly important for gene regulation in the long processes - axons and dendrites - of neuronal cells, which often extend very far from the nucleus, and are therefore less responsive to transcriptional control of .

Three years after the initiation of the study it turns out that the futuristic fusion of neurobiology and RNA research produced pioneering results. Witold Filipowicz adds: "It is the strength of the FMI that it fosters such collaborations across the boundaries of disciplines and thereby supports projects that may seem a little risky but may also allow a crucial step forward in the understanding of the processes in our cells."

The Friedrich Miescher Institute is part of the Novartis Research Foundation.

Explore further: Drugs used to treat lung disease work with the body clock

More information: Publication in Cell - www.cell.com/abstract/S0092-8674%2810%2900357-0

Provided by Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research

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VEERUNCLE
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2010
Chemical happenings at a quantum state at large all over macrocosm & microcosm is postulated as Cosmic Tithonicity - explicating the interminable inter-play propagating the chemical behavior by dint of harvesting properties and dynamics-mechanism of LIGHT through a process ‘absorption, excitation & emission.’ Thereby fundamental changes are established as all happenings at the ‘quark-gluon plasma state’ defining quantum creative act within every atom, may it be macrocosm or microcosm state unto all of cellular/genomic world, inclusive of neurons at large.

We are Colorgenics`.

Light or its components ‘colours’ -which configures light- is indeed a beatitude in all sort of concern for well-being for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspect of every livingfulness behind living a healthy and blessed life. This subject is postulated as ‘Cosmic Efficacy & Tithonicity’ in domain of Astral Science dealing with Para-physics and omnijectivism.

CHARANJEET SINGH LAMBA
-astral`scientist-
VEERUNCLE
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2010
Color is but component of Light. And an axiom behind a given existence is trinity of "Light : Time : Space." Light traveling in space spelled by time as age is our Life.

In certitude of an axiomatic fact, We are Colorgeneics`. Color (hue) is a photonic element of Happening

Through Neuro` forwards, BRAIN reads quantum messages by an analytic decipher of bio`piezophotonics presenting all receipts & accepts, cognitive or non-cognitive, which are being enabled, enriched, empowered by the ontological working of an Orderliness been propagated by Colors` (configuring all of Light). Colors does establish itself by dint of dynamic-mechanism to dominate and depict the properties of Light (maybe it is a Spirit of Soul or an independent Color) on the selective quantum-energy (Life force-energy) to inter-play its afferent and efferent forces unto all of happening in every entity in particular to a given peculiarity.

CHARANJEET SINGH LAMBA
~astral`scientist