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Journal Article

RNA supply drives physiological granule assembly in neurons


Segura,  Inmaculada
Max Planck Research Group: Neurometabolism / Harbauer, Martinsried, Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence, Max Planck Society;

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Bauer, K. E., Bargenda, N., Schieweck, R., Illig, C., Segura, I., Harner, M., et al. (2022). RNA supply drives physiological granule assembly in neurons. Nature Communications, 13(1): 2781. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-30067-3.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-D381-5
RNA granules are important regulators of RNA metabolism. Here the authors report that RNA granules containing RNA helicase DDX6 disassemble during neuronal maturation. Membraneless cytoplasmic condensates of mRNAs and proteins, known as RNA granules, play pivotal roles in the regulation of mRNA fate. Their maintenance fine-tunes time and location of protein expression, affecting many cellular processes, which require complex protein distribution. Here, we report that RNA granules-monitored by DEAD-Box helicase 6 (DDX6)-disassemble during neuronal maturation both in cell culture and in vivo. This process requires neuronal function, as synaptic inhibition results in reversible granule assembly. Importantly, granule assembly is dependent on the RNA-binding protein Staufen2, known for its role in RNA localization. Altering the levels of free cytoplasmic mRNA reveals that RNA availability facilitates DDX6 granule formation. Specifically depleting RNA from DDX6 granules confirms RNA as an important driver of granule formation. Moreover, RNA is required for DDX6 granule assembly upon synaptic inhibition. Together, this data demonstrates how RNA supply favors RNA granule assembly, which not only impacts subcellular RNA localization but also translation-dependent synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory.