2016 Volume 41 Issue 1 Pages 23-31
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophic factor critical for synaptic plasticity, neuronal development and neurite extension. BDNF mRNA is transported to dendrites and axons, where it is expressed locally. We previously reported that dendritic targeting elements in the BDNF 3’ UTR are necessary for dendritic transport and interact with cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein 1. Here, we demonstrated that the short 3’ UTR directs local translation of BDNF and that locally synthesized BDNF exists in a novel compartment that does not co-localize with markers of endosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi or the trans-Golgi network. Further, locally synthesized BDNF vesicles co-localized with Bicaudal-D2 (BicD2), a member of dynein motor complex proteins. Silencing BicD2 significantly reduced BDNF local synthesis in dendrites. These new findings may underlie the mechanism of local neuronal response to environmental stimuli.