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.

Related Articles


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 March 5, 2015 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 March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Former NFL Players Donate Brains to Science

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 3, 2015) Super Bowl champions Sidney Rice and Steve Weatherford donate their brains, post-mortem, to scientific research into repetitive brain trauma. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Alzheimer's Protein Plaque Found In 20-Year-Olds

Newsy (Mar. 3, 2015) Researchers found an abnormal protein associated with Alzheimer&apos;s disease in the brains of 20-year-olds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

This Nasal Treatment Could Help Ease Migraine Pain

Newsy (Mar. 2, 2015) Researchers gave lidocaine to 112 patients, and about 88 percent of the subjects said they needed less migraine-relief medicine the next day. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

How Facebook Use Can Lead To Depression

Newsy (Mar. 1, 2015) Margaret Duffy of the University of Missouri talks about her study on the social network and the envy and depression that Facebook use can cause. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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