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Neuronal ribosomes dynamically exchange ribosomal proteins in a context-dependent manner.

By Claudia M. Fusco, Kristina Desch, Aline R. Doerrbaum, Mantian Wang, Anja Staab, Ivy C.W. Chan, Eleanor Vail, Veronica Villeri, Julian D. Langer, Erin Schuman

Posted 25 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.25.437026

Owing to their morphological complexity and dense network connections, neurons modify their proteomes locally, using mRNAs and ribosomes present in the neuropil (tissue enriched for dendrites and axons). Although ribosome biogenesis largely takes place in the nucleus and perinuclear region, neuronal ribosomal protein (RP) mRNAs have been frequently detected remotely, in dendrites and axons. Here, using imaging and ribosome profiling, we directly detected the RP mRNAs and their translation in the neuropil. Combining brief metabolic labeling with mass spectrometry, we found that a group of RPs quickly associated with translating ribosomes in the cytoplasm and that this incorporation is independent of canonical ribosome biogenesis. Moreover, the incorporation probability of some RPs was regulated by location (neurites vs. cell bodies) and changes in the cellular environment (in response to oxidative stress). Our results suggest new mechanisms for the local activation, repair and/or specialization of the translational machinery within neuronal processes, potentially allowing remote neuronal synapses a rapid solution to the relatively slow and energy-demanding requirement of nuclear ribosome biogenesis.

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