Acetylcholine (ACh) signaling orchestrates mammalian movement, mental capacities, and inflammation. Dysregulated ACh signaling associates with many human mental disorders and neurodegeneration in an individual-, sex-, and tissue-related manner. Moreover, aged patients under anticholinergic therapy show increased risk of dementia, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we report that certain cholinergic-targeting noncoding RNAs, named Cholino-noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), can modulate ACh signaling, agonistically or antagonistically, via distinct direct and indirect mechanisms and at different timescales. Cholino-ncRNAs include both small microRNAs (miRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). The former may attenuate translation and/or induce destruction of target mRNAs that code for either ACh-signaling proteins or transcription factors controlling the expression of cholinergic genes. lncRNAs may block miRNAs via ‘sponging’ events or by competitive binding to the cholinergic target mRNAs. Also, single nucleotide polymorphisms in either Cholino-ncRNAs or in their recognition sites in the ACh-signaling associated genes may modify ACh signaling-regulated processes. Taken together, both inherited and acquired changes in the function of Cholino-ncRNAs impact ACh-related deficiencies, opening new venues for individual, sex-related, and age-specific oriented research, diagnosis, and therapeutics.
Cholino-ncRNAs Modulate Sex-Specific- And Age-Related Acetylcholine Signals
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