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J Neurosci. 2018 May 23;38(21):4985-4995. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2370-17.2018. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Palladin Is a Neuron-Specific Translational Target of mTOR Signaling That Regulates Axon Morphogenesis.

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Institute of Industrial Science, and.
Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan, and.
Department of Neuroscience, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Institute of Industrial Science, and


The mTOR signaling pathway regulates protein synthesis and diverse aspects of neuronal morphology that are important for brain development and function. To identify proteins controlled translationally by mTOR signaling, we performed ribosome profiling analyses in mouse cortical neurons and embryonic stem cells upon acute mTOR inhibition. Among proteins whose translation was significantly affected by mTOR inhibition selectively in neurons, we identified the cytoskeletal regulator protein palladin, which is localized within the cell body and axons in hippocampal neurons. Knockdown of palladin eliminated supernumerary axons induced by suppression of the tuberous sclerosis complex protein TSC1 in neurons, demonstrating that palladin regulates neuronal morphogenesis downstream of mTOR signaling. Our findings provide novel insights into an mTOR-dependent mechanism that controls neuronal morphogenesis through translational regulation.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study reports the discovery of neuron-specific protein translational responses to alterations of mTOR activity. By using ribosome profiling analysis, which can reveal the location and quantity of translating ribosomes on mRNAs, multiple aspects of protein translation were quantitatively analyzed in mouse embryonic stem cells and cortical neurons upon acute mTOR inhibition. Neurons displayed distinct patterns of ribosome occupancy for each codon and ribosome stalling during translation at specific positions of mRNAs. Importantly, the cytoskeletal regulator palladin was identified as a translational target protein of mTOR signaling in neurons. Palladin operates downstream of mTOR to modulate axon morphogenesis. This study identifies a novel mechanism of neuronal morphogenesis regulated by mTOR signaling through control of translation of the key protein palladin.


axon; palladin; ribosome; translation

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