Translational control of mRNAs in dendrites is essential for certain forms of synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. CPEB is an RNA-binding protein that regulates local translation in dendrites. Here, we identify poly(A) polymerase Gld2, deadenylase PARN, and translation inhibitory factor neuroguidin (Ngd) as components of a dendritic CPEB-associated polyadenylation apparatus. Synaptic stimulation induces phosphorylation of CPEB, PARN expulsion from the ribonucleoprotein complex, and polyadenylation in dendrites. A screen for mRNAs whose polyadenylation is altered by Gld2 depletion identified >100 transcripts including one encoding NR2A, an NMDA receptor subunit. shRNA depletion studies demonstrate that Gld2 promotes and Ngd inhibits dendritic NR2A expression. Finally, shRNA-mediated depletion of Gld2 in vivo attenuates protein synthesis-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) at hippocampal dentate gyrus synapses; conversely, Ngd depletion enhances LTP. These results identify a pivotal role for polyadenylation and the opposing effects of Gld2 and Ngd in hippocampal synaptic plasticity.
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