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  1. Abstract Objective

    RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are important regulators of gene expression that influence mRNA splicing, stability, localization, transport, and translational control. In particular, RBPs play an important role in neurons, which have a complex morphology. Previously, we showed that there are many RBPs that play a conserved role in dendrite development inDrosophiladendritic arborization neurons andCaenorhabditis elegans(C. elegans) PVD neurons including the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding proteins (CPEBs), Orb inDrosophilaand CPB-3 inC. elegans, and the DEAD box RNA helicases, Me31B inDrosophilaand CGH-1 inC. elegans. During these studies, we observed that fluorescently-labeled CPB-3 and CGH-1 localize to cytoplasmic particles that are motile, and our research aims to further characterize these RBP-containing particles in live neurons.


    Here we extend on previous work to show that CPB-3 and CGH-1 localize to motile particles within dendrites that move at a speed consistent with microtubule-based transport. This is consistent with a model in which CPB-3 and CGH-1 influence dendrite development through the transport and localization of their mRNA targets. Moreover, CPB-3 and CGH-1 rarely localize to the same particles suggesting that these RBPs function in discrete ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) that may regulate distinct mRNAs.

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