Neurons are highly polarized cells that can extend processes far from the cell body. As such, transport of messenger RNAs serves as a set of blueprints for the synthesis of specific proteins at distal sites. RNA localization to dendrites and axons confers the ability to regulate translation with extraordinary precision in space and time. Although the rationale for RNA localization is quite compelling, it is unclear how a neuron orchestrates such a complex task of distributing over a thousand different mRNAs to their respective subcellular compartments. Recent single-molecule imaging studies have led to insights into the kinetics of individual mRNAs. We can now peer into the transport dynamics of mRNAs in both dendrites and axons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas