Spatially restricting gene expression by local translation at synapses

Dan Ohtan Wang, Kelsey C. Martin, R. Suzanne Zukin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


mRNA localization and regulated translation provide a means of spatially restricting gene expression within each of the thousands of subcellular compartments made by a neuron, thereby vastly increasing the computational capacity of the brain. Recent studies reveal that local translation is regulated by stimuli that trigger neurite outgrowth and/or collapse, axon guidance, synapse formation, pruning, activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, and injury-induced axonal regeneration. Impairments in the local regulation of translation result in aberrant signaling, physiology and morphology of neurons, and are linked to neurological disorders. This review highlights current advances in understanding how mRNA translation is repressed during transport and how local translation is activated by stimuli. We address the function of local translation in the context of fragile X mental retardation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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