Neurons are continually adapting to changing conditions. The biochemical basis for memory and learning is this plasticity. There are several ways for controlling overall gene expression at the cellular level. RNA-binding proteins, which detect messenger molecules, are one of the main participants (mRNA).
They control the location and timing of protein synthesis inside the neuron in this way. The RNA-binding proteins Staufen2 and Argonaute collaborate with other elements to generate RNA granules in the cytoplasm.
The connection between Staufen and Argonaute proteins has recently been demonstrated for the first time by a team led by LMU cell biologist Prof. Michael Kiebler. The researchers who published their findings in Nucleic Acids Research were able to show that the two RNA-binding proteins compete with one another to carry out their intended function.
Their findings imply that the two RNA-binding proteins control the translation of certain proteins in the dendrite and at the synapse in this manner. The researchers propose that these RNA granule assembly dynamics have a significant functional role in synaptic plasticity, particularly in neurons.
Ehses, J., et al. (2022) The dsRBP Staufen2 governs RNP assembly of neuronal Argonaute proteins. Nucleic Acids Research. doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkac487.