Protein synthesis in the dendrite

Jun Tang Shao, Erin M. Schuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


In neurons, many proteins that are involved in the transduction of synaptic activity and the expression of neural plasticity are specifically localized at synapses. How these proteins are targeted is not clearly understood. One mechanism is synaptic protein synthesis. According to this idea, messenger RNA (mRNA) translation from the polyribosomes that are observed at the synaptic regions provides a local source of synaptic proteins. Although an increasing number of mRNA species has been detected in the dendrite, information about the synaptic synthesis of specific proteins in a physiological context is still limited. The physiological function of synaptic synthesis of specific proteins in synaptogenesis and neural plasticity expression remains to be shown. Experiments aimed at understanding the mechanisms and functions f synaptic protein synthesis might provide important information about the molecular nature of neural plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1420
StatePublished - Apr 29 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendrite
  • Messenger RNA
  • Neuron
  • Protein synthesis
  • Synapse
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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