CPEB1 regulates beta-catenin mRNA translation and cell migration in astrocytes

Glia. 2008 Oct;56(13):1401-13. doi: 10.1002/glia.20707.


A crucial step in directed cell migration is the recruitment of cytoskeletal regulatory and signaling proteins to the leading edge of the cell. One protein localized to the leading edge of a migrating astrocyte is beta-catenin. Using an in vitro wound-healing assay, we show that the localization of beta-catenin to the leading edge is dependent upon new protein synthesis at the time of wounding. We examined the mRNA encoding beta-catenin for potential regulatory elements and identified a conserved cytoplasmic polyadenylation element in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR). We now show that the CPE-binding protein (CPEB1) is expressed in astrocytes and that translation of beta-catenin mRNA is regulated by CPEB1. Further, expression of a mutant CPEB1 protein in astrocytes not only blocks beta-catenin protein localization, it also inhibits cell migration. These findings demonstrate a role for CPEB1-mediated protein synthesis in the localization of beta-catenin protein to the leading edge of migrating astrocytes and in regulating directed cell motility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Astrocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Migration Inhibition / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / biosynthesis*
  • beta Catenin / genetics*
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors / physiology*


  • CPEB1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta Catenin
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors