Targeting of mRNAs to neuronal dendrites and axons plays an integral role in intracellular signaling, development, and synaptic plasticity. Single-molecule imaging of mRNAs in neurons and brain tissue has led to enhanced understanding of mRNA dynamics. Here we discuss aspects of mRNA regulation as revealed by single-molecule detection, which has led to quantitative analyses of mRNA diversity, localization, transport, and translation. These exciting new discoveries propel our understanding of the life of an mRNA in a neuron and how its activity is regulated at the single-molecule level.
Keywords: RNA localization; local translation; mRNA tracking; smFISH.
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