Translational Control of Synaptic Plasticity and Memory
Communication between neurons happens at a contact structure called a synapse. Synaptic plasticity refers to alterations in the efficiency of synaptic transmission in response to neuronal activity or different neuromodulators. Long-lasting activity-dependent synaptic plasticity requires new gene expression. While the role of transcription-mediated gene expression in synaptic plasticity and memory is well established, the mechanisms underlying translational control at or near the synapses are less well understood. Multiple regulatory mechanisms control translation of distinct mRNAs in response to different sensory inputs. The numerous regulatory mechanisms that evolved to regulate translation probably reflect the complexity of expression patterns required to generate the necessary repertoire of new proteins in response to different stimuli, even at the level of a single neuron. In this chapter, we summarize the major mechanisms controlling translation in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and discuss how dysregulation of these mechanisms can lead to disease.
KeywordsSynaptic Plasticity Tuberous Sclerosis Complex mTOR Pathway Conditioned Taste Aversion General Translation
We thank Valerie Henderson and Ruifeng Cao for critical reading of the chapter.
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