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RNA Biol. 2011 Sep-Oct;8(5):771-81. doi: 10.4161/rna.8.5.16014. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

Drosophila glutamate receptor mRNA expression and mRNP particles.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

The processes controlling glutamate receptor expression early in synaptogenesis are poorly understood. Here, we examine glutamate receptor (GluR) subunit mRNA expression and localization in Drosophila embryonic/larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). We show that postsynaptic GluR subunit gene expression is triggered by contact from the presynaptic nerve, approximately halfway through embryogenesis. After contact, GluRIIA and GluRIIB mRNA abundance rises quickly approximately 20-fold, then falls within a few hours back to very low levels. Protein abundance, however, gradually increases throughout development. At the same time that mRNA levels decrease following their initial spike, GluRIIA, GluRIIB, and GluRIIC subunit mRNA aggregates become visible in the cytoplasm of postsynaptic muscle cells. These mRNA aggregates do not colocalize with eIF4E, but nevertheless presumably represent mRNP particles of unknown function. Multiplex FISH shows that different GluR subunit mRNAs are found in different mRNPs. GluRIIC mRNPs are most common, followed by GluRIIA and then GluRIIB mRNPs. GluR mRNP density is not increased near NMJs, for any subunit; if anything, GluR mRNP density is highest away from NMJs and near nuclei. These results reveal some of the earliest events in postsynaptic development and provide a foundation for future studies of GluR mRNA biology.

PMID:
21743295
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3256355
Free PMC Article
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