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Role of microRNAs in the pathophysiology of addiction

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Abstract Addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disorder characterized by compulsive seeking despite adverse consequences. There are both heritable and epigenetic mechanisms underlying drug addiction. Emerging evidence suggests that non‐coding RNAs (ncRNAs) such as microRNAs (miRNAs), long non‐coding RNAs, and circular RNAs regulate synaptic plasticity and related behaviors caused by substances of abuse. These ncRNAs modify gene expression and may contribute to the behavioral phenotypes of addiction. Among the ncRNAs, the most widely researched and impactful are miRNAs. The goal in this systematic review is to provide a detailed account of recent research involving the role of miRNAs in addiction. This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Small Molecule‐RNA Interactions RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease
Using miRPathDB and Cytoscape, we mapped the seven miRNAs with the most poly‐drug associations in this paper to putative target genes related to synaptic plasticity. This allows for a visual representation of the strength that some miRNAs have in synaptic plasticity and likely is also representative of their strength in regulating addiction
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The underlying genes in the drug addiction pathway in relation to miRNAs experimentally linked to these genes have been mapped using Cytoscape. There are many more non‐confirmed miRNAs that are putatively targeting these genes, but for the sake of validity and simplicity the map has been limited to those that were confirmed by miRPathDB to have experimental validity linking them to impacting these genes. The miRNAs which have experimental data linking them to a drug of abuse mentioned in this article have been denoted with a number according to the key above: (1) METH, (2) cocaine, (3) nicotine, (4) oxycodone, (5) morphine/heroin, (6) alcohol
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RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease
RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Small Molecule–RNA Interactions

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