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The RNA-binding Protein hnRNP Q Regulates Dendritic Morphogenesis and Synapse Number in Cortical Neurons

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Title: The RNA-binding Protein hnRNP Q Regulates Dendritic Morphogenesis and Synapse Number in Cortical Neurons
Author: Thorpe, Hayley
Department: Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Program: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Advisor: Vessey, John
Abstract: Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNP) constitute a family of RNA-binding proteins (RBP) capable of regulating mRNA dynamics and protein translation. Mutations in one such protein, hnRNP Q, were recently identified as a potential cause of human intellectual disorders. This protein is highly expressed in the neocortex during peak neurogenic periods and is suggested to be a mediator of neurogenesis and facets of interneuronal connectivity, including dendritogenesis and synaptogenesis. This research aimed to identify a role for hnRNP Q in the maturation of newborn cortical neurons by knocking down hnRNP Q in vitro and analyzing dendritic complexity and synaptic density. Dendritic complexity as evaluated by Sholl analysis was increased in hnRNP Q-depleted neurons and these neurons also demonstrated lower synapse density relative to control neurons. This suggests that hnRNP Q is critical to neuron development and morphogenesis, and aberrant hnRNP Q expression could result in intellectual disorders in humans.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/14592
Date: 2018-11


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