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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Dec 23;94(26):14804-8.

Neurotrophin-3 signals redistribute RNA in neurons.

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  • 1Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The translocation of specific mRNAs to dendrites and their potential for locally regulated translation are likely to serve as an effector in neuronal plasticity. Whether translation in dendrites is regulated by delivery of the RNA to sites of plasticity or a stationary pool of localized RNA undergoes enhanced translational efficiency is not clear. We show that RNA can translocate into dendrites in response to NT-3. RNA granules were visualized in cultured rat cortical neurons using the dye SYTO 14, which labels poly-ribosome complexes. Long before the morphological effects of NT-3 appeared, there was increased distal translocation of labeled complexes. This effect was blocked by K252a, a potent inhibitor of tyrosine kinase receptors. Therefore, neurons can utilize extracellular signals to alter the distribution of protein synthetic machinery via the active transport of RNA granules.

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