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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(1), 558-578;

Non-Coding RNAs in Retinal Development

MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, London, SE1 1UL, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2011 / Revised: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 21 December 2011 / Published: 5 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs)
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Retinal development is dependent on an accurately functioning network of transcriptional and translational regulators. Among the diverse classes of molecules involved, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a significant role. Members of this family are present in the cell as transcripts, but are not translated into proteins. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small ncRNAs that act as post-transcriptional regulators. During the last decade, they have been implicated in a variety of biological processes, including the development of the nervous system. On the other hand, long-ncRNAs (lncRNAs) represent a different class of ncRNAs that act mainly through processes involving chromatin remodeling and epigenetic mechanisms. The visual system is a prominent model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying neurogenesis or circuit formation and function, including the differentiation of retinal progenitor cells to generate the seven principal cell classes in the retina, pathfinding decisions of retinal ganglion cell axons in order to establish the correct connectivity from the eye to the brain proper, and activity-dependent mechanisms for the functionality of visual circuits. Recent findings have associated ncRNAs in several of these processes and uncovered a new level of complexity for the existing regulatory mechanisms. This review summarizes and highlights the impact of ncRNAs during the development of the vertebrate visual system, with a specific focus on the role of miRNAs and a synopsis regarding recent findings on lncRNAs in the retina. View Full-Text
Keywords: retina; microRNA; non-codingRNA; visual system; neurodegenerative diseases; posttranscriptional inhibition; regulatory network; development retina; microRNA; non-codingRNA; visual system; neurodegenerative diseases; posttranscriptional inhibition; regulatory network; development

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Maiorano, N.A.; Hindges, R. Non-Coding RNAs in Retinal Development. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 558-578.

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