Students of the Master’s Programme in Neuroscience.
The transport of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) followed by localized translation is a mechanism conserved in evolution which is present in different cell types, from oocytes to fibroblasts. In neurons, mRNA transport serves many purposes. During development, trafficking of mRNAs to both axonal and dendritic growth cones regulates neuronal growth. After synapse formation, mRNAs continue to be transported to dendrites both as a mechanism for the localization of proteins to specific compartments and as a substrate for local translational regulation of synaptic plasticity.
The purpose of the lessons is to describe the current view on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the mRNA trafficking and translation in the context of maintenance of neuronal integrity and plasticity. In addition to the general information, provided during the lessons, the Research Seminar hold at the end of the first day will describe the specific case of dendritic trafficking of the mRNA encoding Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The Methods and Trends classes will allow students to receive the technical background to actively plan and discuss specific experimental approaches to design cell-based assays suitable for high-content imaging and drug screening in the context of diseases characterized by dendritic atrophy (such as Autism, Rett’s, Down’s or Fragile-X syndrome etc..).
Finally, as a home work, students will elaborate a written assay (max 5 pages, Times New Roman 11 pt) to describe either: 1) an in vitro cell-based assay to screen drugs for diseases characterized by dendritic atrophy; or 2) the molecular mechanism of trafficking of one mRNA encoding for a neuronal protein.
- Trafficking ofmRNA in neuronal dendrites and axons
- Regulation of local translation in axons and dendrites
- Research Seminar “Brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA variants dendritic trafficking: the spatial and quantitative code model”
25.9. (together with NEU-105 course)
- Cell-based assays in applied neuroscience: focus on neuronal atrophy
- Class exercise
- P-bodies, stress granules and the mRNA cycle
- Presentation of Erasmus exchange opportunities at the University of Trieste for Helsinki students
Participation in all lectures, seminar and exercise + written essay = 1 ECTS
Prof. Enrico Tongiorgi (PhD)
Head of the Cellular and Developmental Neurobiology Lab
Director of the LMIC - Light Microscopy Imaging Center
Università di Trieste – Department of Life Sciences