Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny fateful RNA

25.04.2006
Micro-RNA, a special type of RNA found in brain cells, plays an important role in the mechanisms of human brain development and in the emergence of certain mental diseases. This hypothesis was put forward by Evgeny Rogaev, a Russian neuroscientist. It is based on the data from publications and his own research conducted in Russia and the USA.

Micro-RNA is a special class of regulatory RNA just 19-22 nucleotides in length. Such micro-RNAs are the products of operation of short genes that do not encode proteins. Micro-RNA was found both in plants and in animals. Scientists assume that mammals have hundreds or, possibly, thousands of various sequences of micro-RNAs in their genome. Specialists are unable to give a more precise figure yet but they have already performed certain research that gives grounds to believe that micro-RNAs may participate in the pathogenesis of mental diseases.

Micro-RNAs are common in brain cells, and some of these molecules are mostly found just there. Experiments on Danio rerio, Caenorhabditis elegans and rats give evidence that normal development of the nervous system is impossible without micro-RNAs. Composition of micro-RNA in the neural tissue changes depending on the stage of the nervous system’s embryonal development.

Human brain diseases related to impairment of consciousness, intellect, mood and memory can be subdivided into two groups. They are diseases of nervous system’s development such as mental deficiency, autism, schizophrenia, and the group of neurodegenerative diseases (involving disintegration of nerve cells), for example, senile dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Using computer algorithms, scientists demonstrated that potential micro-RNA targets include genes related to the nervous system’s development, developmental lagging, contact formation between neurons, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, the list of target genes depends on the computer program used to prepare the forecast, and its accuracy can only be verified experimentally.

Preliminary research conducted by Evgeny Rogaev and his colleagues demonstrated that such verification is feasible. Advanced research methods allow finding and identifying tiny micro-RNAs in the brain tissues of the deceased normal and mentally sick people and comparing them. A lot of mental diseases are, undoubtedly, inherited, but when comparing the sequences of genes that encode proteins, the scientists do not find significant differences between normal and sick people. Evgeny Rogaev believes that they should look for differences in the regulation of operation of genes encoding proteins rather than in their sequences. It is highly possible that micro-RNAs are exactly such regulators which define nervous system’s development and functioning.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>