This article is part of the Research Topic MicroRNA pathways in translational biomedicine

Mini Review ARTICLE

Front. Genet., 17 May 2012 |

The path to microRNA therapeutics in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders

Anthony W. S. Chan1,2 and Jannet Kocerha1,2*
  • 1 Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 2 Department of Human Genetics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

The microRNA (miRNA) class of non-coding RNAs exhibit a diverse range of regulatory roles in neuronal functions that are conserved from lower vertebrates to primates. Disruption of miRNA expression has compellingly been linked to pathogenesis in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism. The list of transcript targets governed by a single miRNA provide a molecular paradigm applicable for therapeutic intervention. Indeed, reports have shown that specific manipulation of a miRNA in cell or animal models can significantly alter phenotypes linked with neurological disease. Here, we review how a diverse range of biological systems, including Drosophila, rodents, and primates such as monkeys and humans, can be integrated into the translation of miRNAs as novel clinical targets.

Keywords: microRNAs, psychiatric, neurodegeneration, non-coding RNA, therapeutics, schizophrenia, monkeys, primates

Citation: Chan AWS and Kocerha J (2012) The path to microRNA therapeutics in psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Front. Gene. 3:82. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00082

Received: 20 March 2012; Paper pending published: 10 April 2012;
Accepted: 26 April 2012; Published online: 17 May 2012.

Edited by:

Michael Rossbach, Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore

Reviewed by:

Gerard J. Nuovo, Ohio State University Medical Center, USA
Angela Pearson, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Canada

Copyright: © 2012 Chan and Kocerha. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

*Correspondence: Jannet Kocerha, Yerkes National Primate Center, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Road North East, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA. e-mail: