Indexed on: 13 Nov '16Published on: 13 Nov '16Published in: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
MicroRNAs (miRs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate protein expression through post-transcriptional mechanisms. They participate in broad aspects of biology from the control of developmental processes to tumorigenesis. Recent studies in Drosophila show that they also regulate activity-dependent and sensory-specific protein expression and support olfactory memory formation. Among the hundreds of miRs described, several have been demonstrated to be required for normal learning, memory, or for the development of neuronal circuits that support memory formation. Fly models of human diseases offer promise of identifying miRs whose expression becomes dysregulated and part of the pathological state, providing models for understanding brain disorders and drug discovery.