Conservation of a core neurite transcriptome across neuronal types and species

Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA. 2020 Jul;11(4):e1590. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1590. Epub 2020 Feb 14.


The intracellular localization of mRNAs allows neurons to control gene expression in neurite extensions (axons and dendrites) and respond rapidly to local stimuli. This plays an important role in diverse processes including neuronal growth and synaptic plasticity, which in turn serves as a foundation for learning and memory. Recent high-throughput analyses have revealed that neurites contain hundreds to thousands of mRNAs, but an analysis comparing the transcriptomes derived from these studies has been lacking. Here we analyze 20 datasets pertaining to neuronal mRNA localization across species and neuronal types and identify a conserved set of mRNAs that had robustly localized to neurites in a high number of the studies. The set includes mRNAs encoding for ribosomal proteins and other components of the translation machinery, mitochondrial proteins, cytoskeletal components, and proteins associated with neurite formation. Our combinatorial analysis provides a unique resource for future hypothesis-driven research. This article is categorized under: RNA Export and Localization > RNA Localization RNA Evolution and Genomics > Computational Analyses of RNA RNA Methods > RNA Analyses in Cells.

Keywords: RNA-binding proteins; local translation; mRNA localization; neuron.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Neurites / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcriptome*


  • RNA, Messenger