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Learn Mem. 2011 Apr 20;18(5):314-26. doi: 10.1101/lm.2100611. Print 2011.

Staufen 2 regulates mGluR long-term depression and Map1b mRNA distribution in hippocampal neurons.

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Département de physiologie, GRSNC, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada.


The two members of the Staufen family of RNA-binding proteins, Stau1 and Stau2, are present in distinct ribonucleoprotein complexes and associate with different mRNAs. Stau1 is required for protein synthesis-dependent long-term potentiation (L-LTP) in hippocampal pyramidal cells. However, the role of Stau2 in synaptic plasticity remains unexplored. We found that unlike Stau1, Stau2 is not required for L-LTP. In contrast, Stau2, but not Stau1, is necessary for DHPG-induced protein synthesis-dependent long-term depression (mGluR-LTD). While Stau2 is involved in early development of spines, its down-regulation does not alter spine morphology or spontaneous miniature synaptic activity in older cultures where LTD occurs. In addition, Stau2, but not Stau1, knockdown reduces the dendritic localization of Map1b mRNA, a specific transcript involved in mGluR-LTD. Moreover, mGluR stimulation with DHPG induces Map1b, but not Map2, mRNA dissociation from mRNA granules containing Stau2 and the ribosomal protein P0. This dissociation was not observed in cells in which Stau2 was depleted. Finally, Stau2 knockdown reduces basal Map1b protein expression in dendrites and prevents DHPG-induced increases in dendritic Map1b protein level. We suggest a role for Stau2 in the generation and regulation of Map1b mRNA containing granules that are required for mGluR-LTD.

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