MicroRNAs Instruct and Maintain Cell Type Diversity in the Nervous System.
IF: 6.261
Cited by: 11


Characterizing the diverse cell types that make up the nervous system is essential for understanding how the nervous system is structured and ultimately how it functions. The astonishing range of cellular diversity found in the nervous system emerges from a small pool of neural progenitor cells. These progenitors and their neuronal progeny proceed through sequential gene expression programs to produce different cell lineages and acquire distinct cell fates. These gene expression programs must be tightly regulated in order for the cells to achieve and maintain the proper differentiated state, remain functional throughout life, and avoid cell death. Disruption of developmental programs is associated with a wide range of abnormalities in brain structure and function, further indicating that elucidating their contribution to cellular diversity will be key to understanding brain health. A growing body of evidence suggests that tight regulation of developmental genes requires post-transcriptional regulation of the transcriptome by microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that function by binding to mRNA targets containing complementary sequences and repressing their translation into protein, thereby providing a layer of precise spatial and temporal control over gene expression. Moreover, the expression profiles and targets of miRNAs show great specificity for distinct cell types, brain regions and developmental stages, suggesting that they are an important parameter of cell type identity. Here, we provide an overview of miRNAs that are critically involved in establishing neural cell identities, focusing on how miRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression modulates neural progenitor expansion, cell fate determination, cell migration, neuronal and glial subtype specification, and finally cell maintenance and survival.


CNS – central nervous system
cell diversity
cell fate
cell type
neural progenitor


Zolboot, Norjin
Du, Jessica X
Zampa, Federico
Lippi, Giordano

Recommend literature

Similar data