Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Genes Dev. 2003 Mar 1;17(5):638-53.

Facilitation of dendritic mRNA transport by CPEB.

Author information

Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.


In neurons, the proteins derived from mRNAs localized in dendrites have been implicated in synaptic plasticity. The cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE), a cis element in the 3'-UTRs of specific dendritic mRNAs, promotes cytoplasmic polyadenylation-induced translation in response to synaptic stimulation. Here, we demonstrate that the CPE and its binding protein CPEB facilitate mRNA transport to dendrites. In rat hippocampal neurons infected with recombinant viruses, the CPE is sufficient to direct a reporter RNA into dendrites. CPEB-GFP protein forms RNA-containing particles that are transported into dendrites in a microtubule-dependent fashion at an average velocity of 4-8 microm/min. Such particles also contain maskin, a CPEB-associated factor that mediates cap-dependent translational repression of CPE-containing mRNA, and the molecular motors dynein and kinesin. Overexpression of CPEB in neurons promotes the transport of CPE-containing endogenous MAP2 mRNA to dendrites, whereas overexpression of a mutant CPEB that is defective for interaction with molecular motors inhibits this transport. In neurons derived from CPEB knockout mice, the dendritic transport of a CPE-containing reporter RNA is reduced. These results suggest a mechanism whereby CPE-containing mRNAs can be transported to dendrites in a translationally dormant form, but activated at synapses in response to NMDA receptor stimulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center