Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2000 Jun 23;79(1-2):192-201.

Two trans-acting rat-brain proteins, MARTA1 and MARTA2, interact specifically with the dendritic targeting element in MAP2 mRNAs.

Author information

Institute for Cell Biochemistry and Clinical Neurobiology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Different isoforms of the microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) are somatodendritic components of neurons that seem to regulate the stability of the dendritic cytoskeleton. MAP2 localization into dendrites appears to be a complex multicausal mechanism that involves the specific recruitment of MAP2 mRNAs into dendritic compartments. Recently, we have functionally characterized a 640-nucleotide dendritic targeting element (DTE) in the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) of MAP2 transcripts that mediates extrasomatic mRNA localization in primary neurons (Blichenberg et al. , 1999). In analogy to molecular mechanisms regulating cytoplasmic RNA translocation in other cell systems, we propose that, in vivo, the cis-acting MAP2-DTE interacts with specific protein factors present in neurons. To identify putative trans-acting DTE-binding proteins, we performed in vitro ultraviolet crosslinking assays. Using this experimental system, two 90-kDa and 65-kDa MAP2-RNA trans-acting proteins, MARTA1 and MARTA2, were identified in rat-brain extracts. Both MARTAs bind with high affinity to the MAP2-DTE, but not to other investigated regions of MAP2 transcripts or the somatically restricted alpha-tubulin mRNA. Moreover, MARTA1 and MARTA2 do not bind significantly to other dendritically localized transcripts encoding vasopressin and arg3.1, nor to a dendritic trafficking element from the mRNA encoding the alpha-subunit of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. Binding of MARTA1 and MARTA2 to the MAP2-DTE occurs with an affinity in the nanomolar range. Whereas MARTA1 is clearly detectable in crude lysates, cytosolic and ribosomal salt-wash fractions, and in nuclear extracts, MARTA2 is preferentially found in the ribosomal salt-wash preparation. Neither MARTA is restricted to rat brain, and both are present in a number of other rat tissues. Thus, both proteins may be involved in a variety of nuclear and cytoplasmic events that regulate RNA metabolism in different cell types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center