Targeting of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in neuron processes relies on cis-acting regulatory elements, the nature of which is poorly understood. Here, we report that approximately 30% of the best-known dendritic mRNAs contain a guanine (G)-quadruplex consensus in their 3'-untranslated region. Among these mRNAs, we show by using RNA structure probing that a G-quadruplex is present in the mRNAs of two key postsynaptic proteins: PSD-95 and CaMKIIa. The G-quadruplex structure is necessary and sufficient for the potent and fast localization of mRNAs in cortical neurites and this occurs in a metabotropic glutamate receptor-responsive manner. Thus, G-quadruplex seems to be a common neurite localization signal.