MicroRNAs in Alcohol Abuse and Toxicity Chapter uri icon


  • Alcohol, though widely consumed, can be addictive, toxic, tumorigenic, and teratogenic. The biology of alcoholism and its consequences is often viewed as insurmountably complex. However, recent data showing the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in alcohol addiction and pathology provides evidence for a new layer of cellular regulation that may explain and integrate the complexity of alcohol's effects. MiRNAs are small, non-protein-coding RNA molecules that control networks of protein-coding genes by translation repression and by other more recently discovered mechanisms, including epigenetics and endocrine signaling. In this chapter, we will focus mainly on the brain effects of ethanol and discuss the small but growing literature that shows that common miRNAs mediate aspects of alcoholism and the emergence of alcohol-associated pathology and teratology. We will also examine mechanisms that regulate miRNA biogenesis and function, which are potentially vulnerable to drugs of abuse such as alcohol. 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Miranda, R. C., & Balaraman, S.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Miranda, Rajesh C||Balaraman, Sridevi

Book Title

  • Neurobiology of Alcohol Dependence

publication date

  • January 2014