Noncoding RNAs: key molecules in understanding and treating pain

Trends Mol Med. 2014 Aug;20(8):437-48. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2014.05.006. Epub 2014 Jun 28.


Although noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) were initially considered to be transcriptional byproducts, recent technological advances have led to a steady increase in our understanding of their importance in gene regulation and disease pathogenesis. In keeping with these developments, pain research is also experiencing rapid growth in the investigation of links between ncRNAs and pathological pain. Although the initial focus was on analyzing expression and dysregulation of candidate miRNAs, elucidation of other ncRNAs and ncRNA-mediated functional mechanisms in pain modulation has just commenced. Here we review the major ncRNA literature available to date with respect to pain modulation and discuss tools and opportunities available for testing the impact of other types of ncRNA on pain.

Keywords: chronic pain; lncRNA; miRNA; ncRNA; pain mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Pain / genetics*
  • Pain / pathology
  • Pain Management / methods
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / pathology


  • RNA, Untranslated