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FEBS Lett. 2017 Jun;591(11):1508-1525. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12621. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Spatially and temporally regulating translation via mRNA-binding proteins in cellular and neuronal function.

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Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Center for Neurodegenerative Disease, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Coordinated regulation of mRNA localization and local translation are essential steps in cellular asymmetry and function. It is increasingly evident that mRNA-binding proteins play critical functions in controlling the fate of mRNA, including when and where translation occurs. In this review, we discuss the robust and complex roles that mRNA-binding proteins play in the regulation of local translation that impact cellular function in vertebrates. First, we discuss the role of local translation in cellular polarity and possible links to vertebrate development and patterning. Next, we discuss the expanding role for local protein synthesis in neuronal development and function, with special focus on how a number of neurological diseases have given us insight into the importance of translational regulation. Finally, we discuss the ever-increasing set of tools to study regulated translation and how these tools will be vital in pushing forward and addressing the outstanding questions in the field.


ALS; DM; FXS; SMA; SMN; autism; local protein synthesis; local translation; mRNA localization; synaptic plasticity

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