Non-coding RNA transcripts: sensors of neuronal stress, modulators of synaptic plasticity, and agents of change in the onset of Alzheimer's disease

Neurosci Lett. 2009 Dec 4;466(2):81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.08.032. Epub 2009 Aug 20.


Non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play critical roles on many levels of cellular information processing and pervasive expression of ncRNAs in the nervous system could help explain brain complexity. NcRNAs are enriched in the central nervous system and are associated with specific neuroanatomical regions. Additionally, several recent publications have revealed an important role for deregulation of ncRNAs in various human neuropathologies, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Fragile X mental retardation. Herein, we summarize reports on functional ncRNA molecules involved in cellular stress response, particularly related to Alzheimer's disease. We conclude that ncRNAs have a prominent role in maintaining precise physiological levels of gene products directly implicated in Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease* / pathology
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics*
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism*
  • Synapses / pathology


  • RNA, Untranslated