NMDA receptor activation stimulates transcription-independent rapid wnt5a protein synthesis via the MAPK signaling pathway

Yichen Li, Bei Li, Xianzi Wan, Wei Zhang, Ling Zhong, Shao Jun Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Wnt proteins are emerging key regulators of the plasticity and functions of adult brains. However, the mechanisms by which the expression of Wnt proteins is regulated in neurons are unclear. Using cortical primary cultures, we show here that activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) induces rapid Wnt5a protein synthesis and secretion. This NMDAR-regulated Wnt5a synthesis does not require transcription and is a result of activity-dependent translation. We also show that NMDAR-regulated Wnt5a translation depends on MAPK signaling but not mTOR signaling. Our findings suggest that the synaptic activity of CNS neurons activates NMDARs, which in turn stimulate translation from stored Wnt5a mRNA via the MAPK signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalMolecular Brain
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2012



  • MAPK signaling
  • NMDA receptors
  • Wnt protein
  • activity-regulated protein synthesis
  • mTOR signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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