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Localized mRNA translation is thought to play a key role in synaptic plasticity, but the identity of the transcripts and the molecular mechanism underlying their function are still poorly understood. Here, we show that Syncrip, a regulator of localized translation in the Drosophila oocyte and a component of mammalian neuronal mRNA granules, is also expressed in the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction, where it regulates synaptic growth. We use RNA-immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR to show that Syncrip associates with a number of mRNAs encoding proteins with key synaptic functions, including msp-300, syd-1, neurexin-1, futsch, highwire, discs large, and α-spectrin. The protein levels of MSP-300, Discs large, and a number of others are significantly affected in syncrip null mutants. Furthermore, syncrip mutants show a reduction in MSP-300 protein levels and defects in muscle nuclear distribution characteristic of msp-300 mutants. Our results highlight a number of potential new players in localized translation during synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular junction. We propose that Syncrip acts as a modulator of synaptic plasticity by regulating the translation of these key mRNAs encoding synaptic scaffolding proteins and other important components involved in synaptic growth and function.

Original publication

DOI

10.1261/rna.045849.114

Type

Journal article

Journal

RNA

Publication Date

10/2014

Volume

20

Pages

1593 - 1606

Keywords

Drosophila, localized translation, mRNA localization, neuromuscular junction, Animals, Blotting, Western, Cells, Cultured, Drosophila Proteins, Drosophila melanogaster, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Immunoprecipitation, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Neuromuscular Junction, RNA, Messenger, RNA-Binding Proteins, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction