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Traffic. 2019 Sep;20(9):639-649. doi: 10.1111/tra.12672. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Neuronal ribonucleoprotein granules: Dynamic sensors of localized signals.

Author information

1
Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Inserm, iBV, Nice, France.

Abstract

Membrane-less organelles, because of their capacity to dynamically, selectively and reversibly concentrate molecules, are very well adapted for local information processing and rapid response to environmental fluctuations. These features are particularly important in the context of neuronal cells, where synapse-specific activation, or localized extracellular cues, induce signaling events restricted to specialized axonal or dendritic subcompartments. Neuronal ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles, or granules, are nonmembrane bound macromolecular condensates that concentrate specific sets of mRNAs and regulatory proteins, promoting their long-distance transport to axons or dendrites. Neuronal RNP granules also have a dual function in regulating the translation of associated mRNAs: while preventing mRNA translation at rest, they fuel local protein synthesis upon activation. As revealed by recent work, rapid and reversible switches between these two functional modes are triggered by modifications of the networks of interactions underlying RNP granule assembly. Such flexible properties also come with a cost, as neuronal RNP granules are prone to transition into pathological aggregates in response to mutations, aging, or cellular stresses, further emphasizing the need to better understand the mechanistic principles governing their dynamic assembly and regulation in living systems.

KEYWORDS:

RNP complex; biological condensates; local translation; neuronal RNA granule; neuronal compartments

PMID:
31206920
DOI:
10.1111/tra.12672

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