Post-transcriptional control of mRNA trafficking and metabolism plays a critical role in the actualization and fine tuning of the genetic program of cells, both in development and in differentiated tissues. Cis-acting signals, responsible for post-transcriptional regulation, reside in the RNA message itself, usually in untranslated regions, 5' or 3' to the coding sequence, and are recognized by trans-acting factors: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and/or non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). ncRNAs bind short mRNA sequences usually present in the 3'-untranslated (3'-UTR) region of their target messages. RBPs recognize specific nucleotide sequences and/or secondary/tertiary structures. Most RBPs assemble on mRNA at the moment of transcription and shepherd it to its destination, somehow determining its final fate. Regulation of mRNA localization and metabolism has a particularly important role in the nervous system where local translation of pre-localized mRNAs has been implicated in developing axon and dendrite pathfinding, and in synapse formation. Moreover, activity-dependent mRNA trafficking and local translation may underlie long-lasting changes in synaptic efficacy, responsible for learning and memory. This review focuses on the role of RBPs in neuronal development and plasticity, as well as possible connections between ncRNAs and RBPs.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||International Journal of Molecular Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes