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Translational control in brain pathologies: biological significance and therapeutic opportunities

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  • Alberto Delaidelli, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, University of British Columbia
  • ,
  • Asad Jan
  • Jochen Herms, Ludwig-Maximilians-University München, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases DZNE
  • ,
  • Poul H. Sorensen, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver, University of British Columbia

Messenger RNA (mRNA) translation is the terminal step in protein synthesis, providing a crucial regulatory checkpoint for this process. Translational control allows specific cell types to respond to rapid changes in the microenvironment or to serve specific functions. For example, neurons use mRNA transport to achieve local protein synthesis at significant distances from the nucleus, the site of RNA transcription. Altered expression or functions of the various components of the translational machinery have been linked to several pathologies in the central nervous system. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the basic principles of mRNA translation, and discuss alterations of this process relevant to CNS disease conditions, with a focus on brain tumors and chronic neurological conditions. Finally, synthesizing this knowledge, we discuss the opportunities to exploit the biology of altered mRNA translation for novel therapies in brain disorders, as well as how studying these alterations can shed new light on disease mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Pages (from-to)535-555
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

    Research areas

  • Brain tumors, eEF2 kinase, mRNA translation, Neurodegenerative diseases, RNA-binding proteins, Translation control

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