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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Mar;34(3):343-54. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

The fragile X mental retardation protein-RNP granules show an mGluR-dependent localization in the post-synaptic spines.

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Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy.


The localization of RNA/mRNA in dendrites plays a role in both local and temporal regulation of protein synthesis, which is required for certain forms of synaptic plasticity. A key molecule in these processes is the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Using in situ hybridization coupled to immunofluorescence confocal microscopy, we find that the FMRP-RNP particle contains alphaCaMKII and BC1 RNAs as well as Staufen and CPEB proteins. Furthermore, following mGluR activation, the FMRP-mRNP complex moves into spines as shown by co-localization with the PSD-95 and Shank proteins. This study shows, for the first time, that the translationally inactive FMRP-mRNP complex relocates into neuronal spines after stimulation and that de novo protein synthesis mainly contributes to the pool of FMRP at synapses.

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