ScienceDaily (2010-06-01) -- Scientists in Switzerland have found that microRNAs, small RNA regulators of gene expression, are up- and down-regulated in the retina during light-dark adaptation and in response to synaptic stimulation in hippocampal and cortical neurons. This important discovery provides an unexpected function for microRNAs: it shows that they are able to regulate rapidly the expression of synaptic proteins, which are involved in synapse plasticity and memory formation.
Jacek Krol, Volker Busskamp, Ilona Markiewicz, Michael B. Stadler, Sebastian Ribi, Jens Richter, Jens Duebel, Silvia Bicker, Hans Jörg Fehling, Dirk Schübeler. Characterizing Light-Regulated Retinal MicroRNAs Reveals Rapid Turnover as a Common Property of Neuronal MicroRNAs. Cell, 2010; 141 (4): 618 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.03.039