Axons are able to respond to changes in their environment by producing proteins locally. Intra-axonal protein synthesis plays relevant roles in growth cone behavior and synapse formation during embryonic development, and in axon maintenance by regulating mitochondrial function in adulthood. Importantly, a role for local translation in mediating amyloid-induced neurodegeneration, a hallmark for Alzheimer´s disease, has recently been described.
Although most localized mRNAs are believed to be transported to distal axons from the somatodendritic compartment, recent evidence suggests that some axonal transcripts might be delivered to axons by glial cells. Among the mechanisms proposed for this horizontal transfer, is the secretion of RNA-containing extracellular vesicles (EVs) by glia and subsequent internalization into axons. Our aim is to determine the contribution of glial EVs in the ability of axons to translate proteins locally in models of amyloid-induced pathology. Ultimately we wish to understand if EVs play a role in neurological disorders such Alzheimer´s disease, by regulating intra-axonal signaling events that require local translation.
Life & Medical Sciences
- Biosciences & Health
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