9 Scopus citations


Studies on regulation of gene expression have contributed substantially to understanding mechanisms for the long-term activity-dependent alterations in neural connectivity that are thought to mediate learning and memory. Most of these studies, however, have focused on the regulation of mRNA transcription. Here, we utilized high-throughput sequencing coupled with ribosome footprinting to globally characterize the regulation of translation in primary mixed neuronal-glial cultures in response to sustained depolarization. We identified substantial and complex regulation of translation, with many transcripts demonstrating changes in ribosomal occupancy independent of transcriptional changes. We also examined sequence-based mechanisms that might regulate changes in translation in response to depolarization. We found that these are partially mediated by features in the mRNA sequence—notably upstream open reading frames and secondary structure in the 5′ untranslated region—both of which predict downregulation in response to depolarization. Translationally regulated transcripts are also more likely to be targets of FMRP and include genes implicated in autismin humans. Our findings support the idea that control of mRNA translation plays an important role in response to neural activity across the genome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalFrontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jan 27 2017


  • Activity
  • Depolarization
  • Glial
  • Neuronal
  • Regulation
  • Translation


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