Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Role of micro-RNAs in ASD affected circuit formation and function  

Fragile X syndrome is a common disorder with clear relevance to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recently, it was discovered that the protein underlying this syndrome, FMRP, plays important regulatory roles in neuronal translation of RNA into protein. This discovery has opened up tremendous opportunity to study related mechanisms that are likely to be associated with autism. One common, but poorly understood, mechanism of translational control involves endogenous small RNAs. Small RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), are expressed during development and through adulthood, and it is clear that they play important regulatory roles in neuronal function. The greatest variety of miRNAs are expressed in the nervous system, including the cortex and cerebellum, making it paramount to understand what role miRNAs play in normal neuronal function and disease. To date only two miRNA have been investigated in hippocampal neurons in vitro and these miRNAs were found to regulate process outgrowth and synapse formation. Importantly, computational analyses of likely targets of their action indicate that numerous signaling pathways impacting neuronal function are regulated by miRNAs. Because cortical pyramidal and cerebellar Purkinje neurons are consistently affected in ASD, this project will use mouse genetics to initially remove all miRNAs from cortical circuits and cerebellar Purkinje neurons after they have developed and ask what role miRNAs play in neuron survival, synaptic connectivity, and function. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder Autism Speaks
Fiscal Year Funding $127,085.00
Current Award Period 2007-2010
Project Number 1792
Principal Investigator Ullian, Erik
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Molecular Pathways
Strategic Plan Objective 2O. Not specific to Question 2 objectives
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of California, San Francisco
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Role of micro-RNAs in ASD affected circuit formation and function (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Role of micro-RNAs in ASD affected circuit formation and function | $0.00 | 2009 | 1792
Role of micro-RNAs in ASD affected circuit formation and function | $150,000.00 | 2008 | 1792