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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Nov 15;102(46):16859-64. Epub 2005 Nov 7.

RNA splicing capability of live neuronal dendrites.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Dendrites are specialized extensions of the neuronal soma that contain components of the cellular machinery involved in RNA and protein metabolism. Several dendritically localized proteins are associated with the precursor-mRNA (pre-mRNA) splicing complex, or spliceosome. Although some spliceosome-related, RNA-binding proteins are known to subserve separate cytoplasmic functions when moving between the nucleus and cytoplasm, little is known about the pre-mRNA splicing capacity of intact dendrites. Here, we demonstrate the presence and functionality of pre-mRNA-splicing components in dendrites. When isolated dendrites are transfected with a chicken delta-crystallin pre-mRNA or luciferase reporter pre-mRNA, splicing junctions clustered at or near expected splice sites are observed. Additionally, in vitro synaptoneurosome experiments show that this subcellular fraction contains a similar complement of splicing factors that is capable of splicing chicken delta-crystallin pre-mRNA. These observations suggest that pre-mRNA-splicing factors found in the dendroplasm retain the potential to promote pre-mRNA splicing.

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