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Deciphering the Role of RNA-Binding Proteins in Neurodevelopment and Disease


Participating experts: Michael A. Kiebler, PhD (Ludwig-Maximilians University-Munich), and Chaolin Zhang, PhD (Columbia University)

Investigating RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and their effect on translation has become increasingly important for understanding neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative diseases. The posttranscriptional regulation of RNA via RBPs can have a profound impact on when, where, and how messenger RNA translation occurs within cells, including neurons. However, the mechanistic role that RBPs play in disease progression has not been fully defined. Recently developed high-throughput sequencing techniques have enabled mapping of in vivo protein–RNA interactions on a genome-wide scale down to single-nucleotide resolution. Studies using an integrative analysis of splicing-regulatory networks have led to the identification of hundreds of alternative exons that are controlled by specific neuronal RBPs. Additional work has shed light on how RBPs, including Staufen2 (Stau2) and Pumilio2 (Pum2), regulate protein translation and localization at individual neuronal synapses. Continued research into how localized protein synthesis contributes to morphological and functional changes in neurons will provide a better understanding of learning, memory, and neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. In this webinar, the speakers will discuss ways to analyze neuron-specific RBPs and RNA transcripts and to examine the effects of their well-regulated translation at synapses.

During the webinar, viewers will:

  • Learn how RBPs target and interact with specific RNA transcripts
  • Gain insight into how RBPs influence neuron-specific alternative splicing
  • Explore how specific RNA-regulatory networks can affect learning and memory

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