Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

BDNF-induced local translation of GluA1 is regulated by HNRNP A2/B1

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Science Advances  20 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 47, eabd2163
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd2163


The AMPA receptor subunit GluA1 is essential for induction of synaptic plasticity. While various regulatory mechanisms of AMPA receptor expression have been identified, the underlying mechanisms of GluA1 protein synthesis are not fully understood. In neurons, axonal and dendritic mRNAs have been reported to be translated in a cap-independent manner. However, molecular mechanisms of cap-independent translation of synaptic mRNAs remain largely unknown. Here, we show that GluA1 mRNA contains an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in the 5′UTR. We also demonstrate that heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2/B1 interacts with GluA1 mRNA and mediates internal initiation of GluA1. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) stimulation increases IRES-mediated GluA1 translation via up-regulation of HNRNP A2/B1. Moreover, BDNF-induced GluA1 expression and dendritic spine density were significantly decreased in neurons lacking hnRNP A2/B1. Together, our data demonstrate that IRES-mediated translation of GluA1 mRNA is a previously unidentified feature of local expression of the AMPA receptor.

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