Neuronal development, plasticity and survival require activity-dependent synapse-to-nucleus signaling. Most studies implicate an activity-dependent regulation of gene expression in this phenomenon. However, little is known about other nuclear functions that are regulated by synaptic activity. Here we show that a newly identified component of rat postsynaptic densities (PSDs), AIDA-1d, can regulate global protein synthesis by altering nucleolar numbers. AIDA-1d binds to the first two postsynaptic density-95/Discs large/zona occludens-1 (PDZ) domains of the scaffolding protein PSD-95 via its C-terminal three amino acids. Stimulation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs), which are also bound to PSD-95, results in a Ca2+-independent translocation of AIDA-1d to the nucleus, where it couples to Cajal bodies and induces Cajal body-nucleolar association. Long-term neuronal stimulation results in an AIDA-1-dependent increase in nucleolar numbers and protein synthesis. We propose that AIDA-1d mediates a link between synaptic activity and control of protein biosynthetic capacity by regulating nucleolar assembly.
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