The epitranscriptome and synaptic plasticity.
RNA modifications, collectively referred to as 'the epitranscriptome,' have recently emerged as a pervasive feature of cellular mRNAs which have diverse impacts on gene expression. In the last several years, technological advances improving our ability to identify mRNA modifications, coupled with the discovery of proteins that add and remove these marks, have substantially expanded our knowledge of how the epitranscriptome shapes gene expression. Efforts to uncover functional roles for mRNA modifications have begun to reveal important roles for some marks within the nervous system, and animal models have emerged which demonstrate severe neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive abnormalities resulting from the loss of mRNA modification machinery. Here, we review the recent advances in the field of neuroepitranscriptomics, with a particular emphasis on how modifications to mRNAs within the brain contribute to synaptic activity.
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