Chemical stimulation of synaptosomes modulates alpha -Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II mRNA association to polysomes

J Neurosci. 2000 May 15;20(10):RC76. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.20-10-j0004.2000.


The presence of specific mRNAs in dendrites and at synapses is well established, but a direct and reliable demonstration that they are associated with polysomes is still missing. To address this point we analyzed the polysomal association of the mRNAs for the alpha-subunit of Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alpha-CaMKII), for type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R1) and for the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) in a synaptosomal preparation devoid of contaminating material from neuronal and glial perikarya. We show that a fraction of alpha-CaMKII, InsP3R1, and Arc mRNAs present in synaptosomes is indeed associated with polysomes. Moreover, we show that polysomal association of alpha-CaMKII mRNA, but not InsP3R1 and Arc mRNAs, increases with depolarization of the synaptosomal membrane. Finally, we show that the synthesis of alpha-CaMKII protein increases with stimulation. Dendritic mRNA recruitment onto polysomes in response to synaptic stimulation might represent one of the mechanisms underlying the processes of learning and memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / ultrastructure
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Polyribosomes / enzymology
  • Polyribosomes / metabolism*
  • Potassium Chloride / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Stimulation, Chemical
  • Synaptosomes / enzymology
  • Synaptosomes / metabolism*


  • Calcium Channels
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • activity regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Camk2a protein, mouse