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BMC Neurosci. 2006 Feb 17;7:17.

Dendritic mRNAs encode diversified functionalities in hippocampal pyramidal neurons.

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Department for Physiology and Pharmacology, State University of New York Health Science Center, Box 29, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.



Targeted transport of messenger RNA and local protein synthesis near the synapse are important for synaptic plasticity. In order to gain an overview of the composition of the dendritic mRNA pool, we dissected out stratum radiatum (dendritic lamina) from rat hippocampal CA1 region and compared its mRNA content with that of stratum pyramidale (cell body layer) using a set of cDNA microarrays. RNAs that have over-representation in the dendritic fraction were annotated and sorted into function groups.


We have identified 154 dendritic mRNA candidates, which can be arranged into the categories of receptors and channels, signaling molecules, cytoskeleton and adhesion molecules, and factors that are involved in membrane trafficking, in protein synthesis, in posttranslational protein modification, and in protein degradation. Previously known dendritic mRNAs such as MAP2, calmodulin, and G protein gamma subunit were identified from our screening, as were mRNAs that encode proteins known to be important for synaptic plasticity and memory, such as spinophilin, Pumilio, eEF1A, and MHC class I molecules. Furthermore, mRNAs coding for ribosomal proteins were also found in dendrites.


Our results suggest that neurons transport a variety of mRNAs to dendrites, not only those directly involved in modulating synaptic plasticity, but also others that play more common roles in cellular metabolism.

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