MicroRNA and Posttranscriptional Dysregulation in Psychiatry.

Biological Psychiatry

PubMedID: 25636176

Geaghan M, Cairns MJ. MicroRNA and Posttranscriptional Dysregulation in Psychiatry. Biol Psychiatry. 2015;78(4):231-9.
Psychiatric syndromes, including schizophrenia, mood disorders, and autism spectrum disorders, are characterized by a complex range of symptoms, including psychosis, depression, mania, and cognitive deficits. Although the mechanisms driving pathophysiology are complex and remain largely unknown, advances in the understanding of gene association and gene networks are providing significant clues to their etiology. In recent years, small noncoding RNA molecules known as microRNA (miRNA) have emerged as potential players in the pathophysiology of mental illness. These small RNAs regulate hundreds of target transcripts by modifying their stability and translation on a broad scale, influencing entire gene networks in the process. There is evidence to suggest that numerous miRNAs are dysregulated in postmortem neuropathology of neuropsychiatric disorders, and there is strong genetic support for association of miRNA genes and their targets with these conditions. This review presents the accumulated evidence linking miRNA dysregulation and dysfunction with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and autism spectrum disorders and the potential of miRNAs as biomarkers or therapeutics for these disorders. We further assess the functional roles of some outstanding miRNAs associated with these conditions and how they may be influencing the development of psychiatric symptoms.