Notably, the findings also indicate that the toxic effects may not be solely the result of interference with the microRNA pathway, but also with other small regulatory RNAs that have yet to be identified.
The first study found that Ago2-deficient mice self-administered cocaine less than their control counterparts, while the second linked expression of one specific microRNA with the motivational properties of the drug.
Galas and colleagues last week published a report describing the triggering of miRNA export following serum deprivation in culture, as well as the discovery of a number of proteins that may be involved in the process.
The findings not only show that miRNAs are "a novel class of signaling molecules that play an important role in mediating cell-to-cell and organ-to-organ communication," but also demonstrate that the small, non-coding RNA are part of "a highly regulated complex network under various physiological and pathophysiological conditions," according to a study author.
Prosecutors have charged a former Drexel University professor with theft for allegedly spending federal grant money on adult entertainment and other unrelated expenses, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.