RNA transport and local translation in radial glia

Radial glia progenitors are polarized, with a cell body near the ventricle and extending from this a long basal process which forms endfeet at the top of the brain. Signals nearby the endfeet, within a local niche, can influence progenitors through poorly understood mechanisms. The morphology of radial glia inspired us to investigate roles for mRNA localization in these cells. We discovered that mRNAs are actively transported within radial glia, to the top of the brain, where they can be locally translated into protein!  RNA transport is dependent upon FMRP, an RNA binding protein that is responsible for Fragile X syndrome. Check out our paper in Current Biology on live imaging of mRNAs moving in neural stem cells… Dynamic RNA transport and local translation in radial glial progenitors of the developing brain. Learn more about this study in an accompanying review, on the Node, by Autism focused Simons Foundation, and in a review we wrote for FEBs Letters.  We also recently wrote a review for Traffic in which we discuss parallels between RNA localization in radial glia and throughout the nervous system.

We continue to investigate what mRNAs are localized to these distal structures and translated, how these processes are regulated intrinsically and extrinsically, and how this impacts neurogenesis!

Watch movies of moving RNAs in radial glia here!!