Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-coding RNA Called Evf2 Is Important For Gene Regulation

Date:
September 1, 2009
Source:
Children's Memorial Hospital
Summary:
Can mental disorders result from altered non-coding RNA-dependent gene regulation during embryonic development? Researchers have found for the first time that a non-coding RNA called Evf2 is important for gene regulation and the development of interneurons that produce GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.

Can mental disorders result from altered non-coding RNA-dependent gene regulation during embryonic development? This is a question posed by Jhumku Kohtz, PhD, of Children's Memorial Research Center. Kohtz, along with her laboratory and colleagues at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, has published research in the August issue of Nature Neuroscience that finds for the first time that a non-coding RNA (ncRNA) called Evf2 is important for gene regulation and the development of interneurons that produce GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.

The absence or reduction of GABA is implicated in different psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy, and Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

Until this paper, it had not been known how long ncRNAs function during neural development, or whether subtle effects on gene regulation in the embryo could last through adulthood. Kohtz and colleagues show that the Evf2 RNA controls gene expression in a region of the developing brain that is the source of GABAergic interneurons, which are known to migrate to adult brain regions involved in higher functions like learning and memory.

While it remains to be determined whether mice lacking Evf2 actually exhibit cognitive or social interaction defects, the researchers show that circuitry in the hippocampus, a region involved in learning and memory, is altered in mice lacking Evf2. They also provide a mechanistic explanation of how the Evf2 RNA controls gene expression by showing that Evf2 recruits key transcription factors, including MECP2, a gene mutated in Rett syndrome, to specific sites in DNA. Says Kohtz,

"The majority of cellular RNAs are non-coding, and have been thought to be non-functional. It has become clear that ncRNAs play important roles in a variety of cellular processes. By showing that loss of a single ncRNA can affect neuronal development with long-lasting effects through adulthood, our data raise the possibility that mental disorders may be determined by subtly altering gene expression in the developing brain. This raises important questions on how mental disorders should be studied in the future. Genome-wide studies that are performed to identify mutations that correlate with specific disorders will need to consider that altered ncRNAs may be causing disease. It will be especially important to identify maternal/environmental and/or genetic factors that influence RNA function, and that may contribute to the development of specific mental disorders. If subtle effects on gene expression during development can result in mental disorders in the adult, these data reinforce the importance of prenatal care during pregnancy."

Jhumku Kohtz, PhD, is Associate professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School; and a scientist in the Developmental Biology Program and Director of Research Technologies at the research center.

This work was funded by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute and an Illinois Excellence in Academic Medicine grant to Kohtz.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Memorial Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Memorial Hospital. "Non-coding RNA Called Evf2 Is Important For Gene Regulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090821163525.htm>.
Children's Memorial Hospital. (2009, September 1). Non-coding RNA Called Evf2 Is Important For Gene Regulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090821163525.htm
Children's Memorial Hospital. "Non-coding RNA Called Evf2 Is Important For Gene Regulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090821163525.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins