Send to

Choose Destination
EMBO J. 2011 Aug 31;30(17):3540-52. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2011.278.

Mechanisms of dendritic mRNA transport and its role in synaptic tagging.

Author information

Department of Neuronal Cell Biology, Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna, Austria.


The localization of RNAs critically contributes to many important cellular processes in an organism, such as the establishment of polarity, asymmetric division and migration during development. Moreover, in the central nervous system, the local translation of mRNAs is thought to induce plastic changes that occur at synapses triggered by learning and memory. Here, we will critically review the physiological functions of well-established dendritically localized mRNAs and their associated factors, which together form ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs). Second, we will discuss the life of a localized transcript from transcription in the nucleus to translation at the synapse and introduce the concept of the 'RNA signature' that is characteristic for each transcript. Finally, we present the 'sushi belt model' of how localized RNAs within neuronal RNPs may dynamically patrol multiple synapses rather than being anchored at a single synapse. This new model integrates our current understanding of synaptic function ranging from synaptic tagging and capture to functional and structural reorganization of the synapse upon learning and memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center