Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Translational control of synaptic plasticity
by Cziko, Anne-Marie Joy, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2009, 199; 3356419
Abstract (Summary)

Activity-dependent and synapse-specific translation of mRNAs is required for long-term changes in synaptic strength (or efficacy). However, many of the components mediating repression, transport and activation of mRNAs are unknown. Translational control in neurons is a highly conserved process and mediated by a ribonuclear particle (RNP). This study shows that RNPs in Drosophila neurons are similar not only to mammalian neuronal RNA granules but also to yeast P-bodies, cytoplasmic foci involved in translational repression and RNA decay. The evolutionarily conserved proteins Me31b and Trailer Hitch localize to RNA granules. Me31b and Trailer Hitch are required for normal dendritic growth. Mutations in Me31b and Trailer Hitch suppress phenotypes resulting from overexpression of Fragile X Mental Retardation protein, suggesting that both proteins may act as translational repressors. In addition, this study reports the identification of novel translational repressors in neurons. Using the overexpression phenotype of Fragile X Mental Retardation protein in a candidate-based genetic screen, I identified dominant suppressor mutations in five genes, including Doubletime/Discs Overgrown, Orb2/CPEB, PolyA Binding Protein, Rm62/Dmp68 and SmD3. Like Me31b and Trailer Hitch, all five proteins localize to neuronal RNPs. Overexpression of each proteins affects dendritic branching of sensory neurons in Drosophila. Identification and further characterization of these novel RNP granule components and dFMR1-interacting proteins may provide further insights into the mechanisms controlling translational in dendrites.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zinsmaier, Konrad E.
Commitee: Parker, Roy R., Wilson, Jean
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Neuroscience
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Molecular biology, Neurosciences
Keywords: Candidate based screen, Dendrites, Drosophila, Neurons, Synaptic plasticity, Translational control
Publication Number: 3356419
ISBN: 978-1-109-16743-6
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