Post-transcriptional trafficking and regulation of neuronal gene expression

Belinda J. Goldie, Murray J Cairns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Intracellular messenger RNA (mRNA) traffic and translation must be highly regulated, both temporally and spatially, within eukaryotic cells to support the complex functional partitioning. This capacity is essential in neurons because it provides a mechanism for rapid input-restricted activity-dependent protein synthesis in individual dendritic spines. While this feature is thought to be important for synaptic plasticity, the structures and mechanisms that support this capability are largely unknown. Certainly specialized RNA binding proteins and binding elements in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of translationally regulated mRNA are important, but the subtlety and complexity of this system suggests that an intermediate "specificity" component is also involved. Small non-coding microRNA (miRNA) are essential for CNS development and may fulfill this role by acting as the guide strand for mediating complex patterns of post-transcriptional regulation. In this review we examine post-synaptic gene regulation, mRNA trafficking and the emerging role of post-transcriptional gene silencing in synaptic plasticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendritic spines
  • Gene silencing
  • Memory
  • MicroRNA
  • Synaptic plasticity

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