Study Sheds Light on Possible Therapeutic Approach for Neurodegenerative Disease

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CINCINNATI, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Scientists partially re-insulated ravaged nerves in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS) and restored limb mobility by treating the animals with a small non-coding RNA called a microRNA.

In a study published online March 27 in Developmental Cell, researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report that treatment with a microRNA called miR-219 restarted production of a substance called myelin in nerves of the central nervous system. Myelin forms a protective sheath around nerves, allowing them to efficiently transmit electrical impulses that stimulate movement.

Study authors administered miR-219 into the spinal columns and cerebrospinal fluid of mice with nerve coatings damaged by a chemical called lysolecithin or by autoimmune encephalomyelitis induced in the animals, which is used to model MS. Treatment with miR-219 reinvigorated the function of damaged cells called oligodendrocytes that produce myelin, which allowed the substance to reform and reinsulate nerves.

“We show that miR-219 targets multiple processes that inhibit myelin formation after nerve injury by the disease process, and that treatment with this microRNA partially restores myelination and limb function,” said Q. Richard Lu, PhD, lead investigator and scientific director of the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “It is conceivable that augmenting miR-219 treatment with other blockers of myelin regrowth may provide a multipoint treatment strategy for people with demyelinating diseases like MS.”

The authors stress that because their study was conducted in [click to continue…]


Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2017

Non-coding RNA is still accepting submissions for a Special Issue on Non Coding RNA methods. This Special Issue is co guest-edited by Dr. Piero Carninci from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan and Dr. Florent Hubé from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris. Accepted papers are published online immediately after copy editing. Non-Coding RNA is an Open Access journal.

ncRNA is a rapidly growing field in which new research methods are continuously appearing.  With this Special Issue, the editors aim to collect a selection of articles on newly developed techniques of special interest for researchers in the ncRNA field.

Considered will be manuscripts that report on new experimental methods , as well as reviews of exceptional interest that focus on newly developed techniques for ncRNA research that include:

  • ncRNA analysis programs
  • ncRNA Chromatography methods
  • ncRNA structure analysis
  • ncRNA function analysis
  • ncRNA by high-throughput screening
  • ncRNA Database/Annotation
  • ncRNA imaging
  • methods to detect the interactome of RNA (with proteins, with chromatin, etc.)

Dr. Piero Carninci
Dr. Florent Hubé
Guest Editors

Please use the online submission system and indicate in your cover letter that you would like to have your manuscript considered for the Special Issue “Non Coding RNA methods”. If you would like to enquire [click to continue…]


New Nature Reviews Drug Discovery publication in the Series “RNA-based therapies”:

MicroRNA therapeutics: towards a new era for the management of cancer and other diseases

Summary of the key steps in the development of miRNA therapeutics.Abstract: In just over two decades since the discovery of the first microRNA (miRNA), the field of miRNA biology has expanded considerably. Insights into the roles of miRNAs in development and disease, particularly in cancer, have made miRNAs attractive tools and targets for novel therapeutic approaches. Functional studies have confirmed that miRNA dysregulation is causal in many cases of cancer, with miRNAs acting as tumour suppressors or oncogenes (oncomiRs), and miRNA mimics and molecules targeted at miRNAs (antimiRs) have shown promise in preclinical development. Several miRNA-targeted therapeutics have reached clinical development, including a mimic of the tumour suppressor miRNA miR-34, which reached phase I clinical trials for treating cancer, and antimiRs targeted at miR-122, which reached phase II trials for treating hepatitis. In this article, we describe recent advances in our understanding of miRNAs in cancer and in other diseases and provide an overview of current miRNA therapeutics in the clinic. The authors also discuss the challenge of identifying the most efficacious therapeutic candidates and provide a perspective on achieving safe and targeted delivery of miRNA therapeutics.

Rupaimoole R, Slack FJ.
MicroRNA therapeutics: towards a new era for the management of cancer and other diseases. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2017 Mar;16(3):203-222.
doi: 10.1038/nrd.2016.246. Review. PubMed PMID: 28209991.

Full article:



International Journal of Molecular SciencesThe International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Impact Factor3.257 (2015); 5-Year Impact Factor: 3.213 (2015)) is working on a Special Issue ” MicroRNA Regulation 2017” and is calling for submissions.

For the letter of the special issue editor and manuscript submission details please see:

CFP dead line: 31 January 2017



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DASHR: database of small human noncoding RNAsDescription:  Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) are highly abundant RNAs, typically <100 nucleotides long, that act as key regulators of diverse cellular processes. Although thousands of sncRNA genes are known to exist in the human genome, no single database provides searchable, unified annotation, and expression information for full sncRNA transcripts and mature RNA products derived from these larger RNAs. Here, we present the Database of small human noncoding RNAs (DASHR). DASHR contains the most comprehensive information to date on human sncRNA genes and mature sncRNA products. DASHR provides a simple user interface for researchers to view sequence and secondary structure, compare expression levels, and evidence of specific processing across all sncRNA genes and mature sncRNA products in various human tissues. DASHR annotation and expression data covers all major classes of sncRNAs including microRNAs (miRNAs), Piwi-interacting (piRNAs), small nuclear, nucleolar, cytoplasmic (sn-, sno-, scRNAs, respectively), transfer (tRNAs), and ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). Currently, DASHR (v1.0) integrates 187 smRNA high-throughput sequencing (smRNA-seq) datasets with over 2.5 billion reads and annotation data from multiple public sources. DASHR contains annotations for ∼48 000 human sncRNA genes and mature sncRNA products, 82% of which are expressed in one or more of the curated tissues. DASHR is available at

Newly published in the Nucleic Acid Research Database issue:


New standard for miRNA annotations published in Annual Reviews of Genetics

November 2, 2015

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a novel class of gene regulators that are now the center of their own research field in human cancer: the non-coding RNA field. MiRNAs are ~22nt long non-coding RNA transcripts that derive from hairpin precursors and regulate gene-expression of target genes by inhibiting the protein production of the target genes’ messenger RNA […]

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Call for Papers: Special Issue – MicroRNA Regulation

September 28, 2015

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Impact Factor 2.862) is working on a Special Issue ” MicroRNA Regulation” and is calling for submissions. Deadline for manuscript submissions is 31 March 2016. For more information please read the letter of the special issue editor: Dear Colleagues, MicroRNA is a short non-coding RNA whose primary function is […]

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MicroRNA Prediction and Validation In Order to Understand Racial Health Disparities in Prostate Cancer

July 15, 2015

It is well documented that African American (AA) men have higher incidence and mortality in cancers of the prostate. Additionally, these cancers tend to be more aggressive when compared with European American (EA) men. Investigators at George Washington University, Duke University, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and the National Institute […]

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Atheroprotective miRNA Signaling Pathways

January 22, 2015

MicroRNA (miRNA) are continually being identified as essential regulators of gene expression in a wide variety of different cellular contexts. A study published in March of 2012 in Nature Cell Biology1 identified an atheroprotective miRNA signaling pathway in which the miR-143/145 gene cluster is upregulated in endothelial cells and transferred to underlying smooth muscle cells […]

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Novel Biomarkers for Drug-induced Liver Injury

December 12, 2014

MicroRNAs have emerged as promising biomarkers of organ damage including injury of the liver. In this study the new generation of high-throughput sequencing technology was applied to detect circulating  miRNAs in serum from patients with accidental acetaminophen overdose and identified a set of 33 known miRNAs and 3 novel miRNA-like small RNAs that are functionally […]

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