Moving messages in the developing brain-emerging roles for mRNA transport and local translation in neural stem cells.
The mammalian cerebral cortex is a complex brain structure integral to our higher cognition. During embryonic cortical development, radial glial progenitors (RGCs) produce neurons and serve as physical structures for migrating neurons. Recent discoveries highlight new roles for RNA localization and local translation in RGCs, both at the cell body and at distal structures called basal endfeet. By implementing technologies from the field of RNA research to brain development, investigators can manipulate RNA-binding proteins as well as visualize single-molecule RNAs, live movement of mRNAs and their binding proteins, and translation. Going forward, these studies establish a framework for investigating how post-transcriptional RNA regulation helps shape RGC function and triggers neurodevelopmental diseases.
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