The human genome project has revolutionized our understanding of the underlying mechanisms in psychiatric disease. It is now abundantly clear that neurobehavioral phenotypes are epigenetically controlled by noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). The microRNA (miRNA) class of ncRNAs are ubiquitously expressed throughout the brain and govern all major neuronal pathways. The attractive therapeutic potential of miRNAs is underscored by their pleiotropic capacities, putatively targeting multiple pathways within a single neuron. Many psychiatric diseases stem from a multifactorial origin, thus conventional drug targeting of single proteins may not prove most effective. In this exciting post-genome sequencing era, many new epigenetic targets are emerging for therapeutic investigation. Here we review the reported roles of miRNAs, as well as other ncRNA classes, in the pathology of psychiatric disorders; there are both common and unique ncRNA mechanisms that influence the various diagnoses. Collectively, these potent epigenetic regulators may clarify the disrupted signaling networks in psychiatric phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-684
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2015


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