New publication - “Distinct role of 5′UTR sequences in dendritic trafficking of BDNF mRNA: additional mechanisms for the BDNF splice variants spatial code”

Published on Molecular Brain by the research group of prof. Enrico Tongiorgi
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Publication date: January 12, 2021



The neurotrophin Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is encoded by multiple bipartite transcripts. Each BDNF transcript is composed by one out of 11 alternatively spliced exons containing the 5′untranslated region (UTR), and one common exon encompassing the coding sequence (CDS) and the 3′UTR with two variants (short and long). In neurons, BDNF mRNA variants have a distinct subcellular distribution, constituting a “spatial code”, with exon 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8 located in neuronal somata, exon 4 extending into proximal dendrites, and exon 2 and 6 reaching distal dendrites. We previously showed that the CDS encodes constitutive dendritic targeting signals (DTS) and that both the 3′UTR-short and the 3′UTR-long contain activity-dependent DTS. However, the role of individual 5′UTR exons in mRNA sorting remains unclear. Here, we tested the ability of each different BDNF 5′UTRs to affect the subcellular localization of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter mRNA. We found that exon 2 splicing isoforms (2a, 2b, and 2c) induced a constitutive dendritic targeting of the GFP reporter mRNA towards distal dendritic segments. The other isoforms did not affect GFP-mRNA dendritic trafficking. Through a bioinformatic analysis, we identified five unique cis-elements in exon 2a, 2b, and 2c which might contribute to building a DTS. This study provides additional information on the mechanism regulating the cellular sorting of BDNF mRNA variants.



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Last update: 02-08-2021 - 18:37