Author(s): Aronov S, Aranda G, Behar L, Ginzburg I
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Abstract Subcellular mRNA localization, a fundamental mechanism for regulating gene expression, leads to local protein translation that results in the generation of neuronal cell polarity. In this study, we have used P19 embryonic carcinoma cells, which are amenable to transfection, and selection of clonal stable cell lines that are not overexpressing the constructs. We identified the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) tau axonal localization signal and examined its effect on tau protein localization in nondifferentiated and neuronally differentiated P19 cells. Using GFP-tagged tau constructs combined with in situ hybridization analysis, we demonstrated colocalization of the targeted tau mRNA and its translated protein in the axon and growth cone. Absence of or mutation in the 3'UTR axonal targeting region of tau mRNA resulted in suppression of tau mRNA localization, and both tau mRNA and tau protein remained in the cell body. Swapping between the 3'UTR tau mRNA axonal localization signal and the 3'UTR MAP2 mRNA dendritic targeting signal proved that the localization of the proteins into the axon or dendrites depends on the specific 3'UTR targeting signals. Moreover, the identification of ribosomal proteins in the axon lends further support to the presence of protein synthetic machinery in the axons, a prerequisite for local translation. It is suggested therefore that the P19 cell system can be used to analyze mutations that affect mRNA transport and local translation and that it has the potential of being used to examine the onset of the neuronal differentiation process.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy