Understanding complex diseases such as sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD) has been a major challenge. Unlike the familial forms of AD, the genetic and environmental risks factors identified for sporadic AD are extensive. MicroRNAs are one of the major noncoding RNAs that function as negative regulators to silence or suppress gene expression via translational inhibition or message degradation. Their discovery has evoked great excitement in biomedical research for their promise as potential disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Key microRNAs have been identified as essential for a variety of cellular events including cell lineage determination, proliferation, apoptosis, DNA repair, and cytoskeletal organization; most, if not all, acting to fine-tune gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in a host of cellular signaling networks. Dysfunctional microRNA-mediated regulation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many disease states. Here, the current understanding of the role of miRNAs in the central nervous system is reviewed with emphasis on their impact on the etiopathogenesis of sporadic AD.
Keywords: Aging, Alzheimer disease, biomarker, microRNA, mild cognitive impairment, neurodegeneration, genomics
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