A role for a rat homolog of staufen in the transport of RNA to neuronal dendrites

Shao Jun Tang, Dan Meulemans, Luis Vazquez, Nalini Colaco, Erin Schuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


RNAs are present in dendrites and may be used for local protein synthesis in response to synaptic activity. To begin to understand dendritic RNA targeting, we cloned a rat homolog of staufen, a Drosophila gene that participates in mRNA targeting during development. In hippocampal neurons, rat staufen protein displays a microtubule-dependent somatodendritic distribution pattern that overlaps with dendritic RNAs. To determine whether r-staufen is required for dendritic RNA targeting, we constructed a mutant version containing the RNA binding domains (stau-RBD) but lacking the C-terminal portion potentially involved in dendritic targeting. Stau-RBD expression was restricted to the cell bodies and proximal dendrites. Expression of stau-RBD significantly decreased, while overexpression of wild-type r-staufen increased, the amount of dendritic mRNA. Taken together, these results suggest that the rat staufen protein plays an important role in the delivery of RNA to dendrites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-475
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 8 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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