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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004 Jun;14(3):305-10.

Local protein synthesis during axon guidance and synaptic plasticity.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Gonda Research Building 3506C, 695 Charles Young Drive South, Los Angeles, California 90095-1761, USA.


mRNA localization and regulated translation take central roles in axon guidance and synaptic plasticity. By spatially restricting gene expression within neurons, local protein synthesis provides growth cones and synapses with the capacity to autonomously regulate their structure and function. Studies in a variety of systems have provided insight into the specific roles of local protein synthesis during axonal navigation and during synaptic plasticity, and have begun to delineate the mechanisms underlying mRNA localization and regulated translation. Several powerful new tools have recently been developed to visualize each of these processes.

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