microRNAs: Key to Treating Neurodegenerative DiseasesMay 11, 2012
A research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust shows a new group of molecules which control some of the fundamental processes behind memory function. This discovery may be the key to the development of new therapies as treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
The research was led by academics from the University of Bristol's Schools of Clinical Sciences, Biochemistry and Physiology and Pharmacology. It reveals a new group of molecules known as mirror-microRNAs.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), often residing within the ‘junk DNA', are non-coding genes that regulate the levels and functions of multiple target proteins which are responsible for controlling brain cellular processes. According to the study's findings, it is possible to produce two miRNA genes with different functions from the same piece or sequence of DNA. One of the miRNA genes is produced from the top strand while the other one is from the bottom complementary ‘mirror' strand.
Moreover, the study has shown that two fully processed miRNA genes expressed in the brain, with different and previously unknown functions, can be extracted from a single sequence of human DNA.
According to Professor of Molecular Neuroscience in the University of Bristol's Schools of Clinical Sciences James Uney, the findings are important because they show how small changes in the miRNA genes can have a dramatic effect on brain function. He added that it may influence our memory function, or the likelihood of acquiring neurodegenerative diseases.
Read more about this study on mirror-microRNAs at http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/health/2012/120427-pr-doubling-information-from-double-helix.aspx. Access the paper at the Journal of Biological Chemistry on their website: http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2012/03/05/jbc.M111.326041.abstract.
Biotech Updates is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a not-for-profit organization. It is distributed for free to over 22,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- FAO Director-General Warns of Horn of Africa, Sahel Funding Gap
- Biotechnology, Key to Realizing Africa's Full Agricultural Potential, says Ghana Minister
- FAO: Use Your Oil Resources to Improve Agriculture in Africa
- CGIAR Program to Improve Maize Opens Call for Proposals
- Cornell Researcher Works to Reduce Aluminum Toxicity in Rice
- NSF Grant Supports Study on Hidden Soybean Genes
- IFIC Survey on Consumers' Perception of Food Tech
- New Source of Biofuel from Ceres Sweet Sorghum Hybrids
- Consumer Attitude toward GM Foods in South Korea
- New Nematode-Resistant Wheat
- PAU Experts Urge Use of Biotechnology in Pest Management
- ADB Report: Comprehensive Approach Must Be Implemented for Food Security and Poverty Reduction in Asia
- Philippine Agri Experts Underscore Need for Alternative Bt Eggplant Technology
- UWA Crop Root Study to Boost Grain Production
- China's Ten Measures to Promote Transformation of Traditional Agriculture
- QUAAFI-Pioneer Hi-Bred Partners on Predicting Crop Yield Technology
- JHI Receives £1.25M Grant for Barley Research
- Moss Detects Air Pollution
- Undue Delays in the EU Approval of Safe GM Products
- Pollen Allergic Risk Assessment of GM Pepper and GM Chinese Cabbage
- Effects of Bt Maize Feeds on Immune Response and Digestive Fate of Bt Gene and Protein
- Scientists Compare Nutritional and Phytochemical Properties of GE Pepper and Its Parent Cultivar
Beyond Crop Biotech
- microRNAs: Key to Treating Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Scripps Research Institute Finds Protein that Can Silence Genes
- ABSOLUTE: A New View of the Cancer Genome
- Pfizer and Protalix BioTherapeutics Derive GE Carrot Cells for Gaucher Disease Treatment
- CSIRO Student Develops "Spell Checker" for Gene Sequences
- Study Probes How Organisms Evolved Diverse Mechanisms
- Conference on Czech Contribution to Sustainable Bioeconomy
- Analysis of U.S. Genetically Engineered Crop Regulation and Litigation
- Biotechnology the Invisible Revolution
Read the latest:
- Biotech Updates (December 7, 2023)
- Gene Editing Supplement (November 29, 2023)
- Gene Drive Supplement (February 22, 2023)
Subscribe to BU: