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Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Mar;23(5):918-29. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E11-07-0622. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Single-molecule imaging of translational output from individual RNA granules in neurons.

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University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Dendritic RNAs are localized and translated in RNA granules. Here we use single-molecule imaging to count the number of RNA molecules in each granule and to record translation output from each granule using Venus fluorescent protein as a reporter. For RNAs encoding activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (ARC) or fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), translation events are spatially clustered near individual granules, and translational output from individual granules is either sporadic or bursty. The probability of bursty translation is greater for Venus-FMRP RNA than for Venus-ARC RNA and is increased in Fmr1-knockout neurons compared to wild-type neurons. Dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) increases the rate of sporadic translation and decreases bursty translation for Venus-FMRP and Venus-ARC RNAs. Single-molecule imaging of translation in individual granules provides new insight into molecular, spatial, and temporal regulation of translation in granules.

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