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The prevalence and specificity of local protein synthesis during neuronal synaptic plasticity

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  • Chao Sun
  • Andreas Nold, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
  • ,
  • Claudia M Fusco, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
  • ,
  • Vidhya Rangaraju, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
  • ,
  • Tatjana Tchumatchenko, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research
  • ,
  • Mike Heilemann, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • ,
  • Erin M Schuman, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

To supply proteins to their vast volume, neurons localize mRNAs and ribosomes in dendrites and axons. While local protein synthesis is required for synaptic plasticity, the abundance and distribution of ribosomes and nascent proteins near synapses remain elusive. Here, we quantified the occurrence of local translation and visualized the range of synapses supplied by nascent proteins during basal and plastic conditions. We detected dendritic ribosomes and nascent proteins at single-molecule resolution using DNA-PAINT and metabolic labeling. Both ribosomes and nascent proteins positively correlated with synapse density. Ribosomes were detected at ~85% of synapses with ~2 translational sites per synapse; ~50% of the nascent protein was detected near synapses. The amount of locally synthesized protein detected at a synapse correlated with its spontaneous Ca2+ activity. A multifold increase in synaptic nascent protein was evident following both local and global plasticity at respective scales, albeit with substantial heterogeneity between neighboring synapses.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabj0790
JournalScience Advances
Pages (from-to)eabj0790
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

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