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Neuron. 2001 Aug 2;31(2):261-75.

Neurotrophin-induced transport of a beta-actin mRNP complex increases beta-actin levels and stimulates growth cone motility.

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Department of Neuroscience, Rose F. Kennedy Center for Mental Retardation, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Neurotrophin regulation of actin-dependent changes in growth cone motility may depend on the signaling of beta-actin mRNA transport. Formation of an RNP complex between the beta-actin mRNA zipcode sequence and Zipcode Binding Protein 1 (ZBP1) was required for its localization to growth cones. Antisense oligonucleotides to the zipcode inhibited formation of this RNP complex in vitro and the neurotrophin-induced localization of beta-actin mRNA and ZBP1 granules. Live cell imaging of neurons transfected with EGFP-ZBP1 revealed fast, bidirectional movements of granules in neurites that were inhibited by antisense treatment, as visualized by FRAP analysis. NT-3 stimulation of beta-actin protein localization was dependent on the 3'UTR and inhibited by antisense treatment. Growth cones exhibited impaired motility in the presense of antisense. These results suggest a novel mechanism to influence growth cone dynamics involving the regulated transport of mRNA.

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