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Bali K.K.,University of Heidelberg | Bali K.K.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit with European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Kuner R.,University of Heidelberg | Kuner R.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit with European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2014

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. © 2014 The Authors. Source


Bali K.K.,University of Heidelberg | Bali K.K.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit with European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Selvaraj D.,University of Heidelberg | Selvaraj D.,Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit with European Molecular Biology Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
EMBO Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

Cancer pain remains a major challenge and there is an urgent demand for the development of specific mechanism-based therapies. Various diseases are associated with unique signatures of expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), which reveal deep insights into disease pathology. Using a comprehensive approach combining genome-wide miRNA screening, molecular and in silico analyses with behavioural approaches in a clinically relevant model of metastatic bone-cancer pain in mice, we now show that tumour-induced conditions are associated with a marked dysregulation of 57 miRNAs in sensory neurons corresponding to tumour-affected areas. By establishing protocols for interference with disease-induced miRNA dysregulation in peripheral sensory neurons in vivo, we functionally validate six dysregulated miRNAs as significant modulators of tumour-associated hypersensitivity. In silico analyses revealed that their predicted targets include key pain-related genes and we identified Clcn3, a gene encoding a chloride channel, as a key miRNA target in sensory neurons, which is functionally important in tumour-induced nociceptive hypersensitivity in vivo. Our results provide new insights into endogenous gene regulatory mechanisms in cancer pain and open up attractive and viable therapeutic options. © 2013 The Authors. Source

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