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Curr Biol. 2005 Mar 29;15(6):587-93.

The RNA binding protein TLS is translocated to dendritic spines by mGluR5 activation and regulates spine morphology.

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  • 1Osaka Bioscience Institute, Suita, Osaka 565-0874, Japan.


Neuronal dendrites, together with dendritic spines, exhibit enormously diverse structure. Selective targeting and local translation of mRNAs in dendritic spines have been implicated in synapse remodeling or synaptic plasticity. The mechanism of mRNA transport to the postsynaptic site is a fundamental question in local dendritic translation. TLS (translocated in liposarcoma), previously identified as a component of hnRNP complexes, unexpectedly showed somatodendritic localization in mature hippocampal pyramidal neurons. In the present study, TLS was translocated to dendrites and was recruited to dendrites not only via microtubules but also via actin filaments. In mature hippocampal pyramidal neurons, TLS accumulated in the spines at excitatory postsynapses upon mGluR5 activation, which was accompanied by an increased RNA content in dendrites. Consistent with the in vitro studies, TLS-null hippocampal pyramidal neurons exhibited abnormal spine morphology and lower spine density. Our results indicate that TLS participates in mRNA sorting to the dendritic spines induced by mGluR5 activation and regulates spine morphology to stabilize the synaptic structure.

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