Ribosomal RNA – a tail wagging the dog?

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It is an intriguing hypothesis that the complex organization of neuronal dynamics important for a memory engram is largely underpinned by the regulation of nucleolar functioning. This Editorial highlights a study by Capitano and coworkers in this issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry, in which the authors tackle this hypothesis with a behavioral approach. The study investigates the role of axo-dendritic mRNAs within learning-induced plasticity and in vivo modulation of rRNA transcription in response to spatial learning. The authors confirm with their in vivo approach what is known from many earlier in vitro experiments: efficient learning and memory requires a proper homeostasis of hippocampal neurons in general, which, however, depends crucially on proper integrity of the nucleolus.

Read the highlighted article‘RNA polymerase I transcription is modulated by spatial learning in different brain regions’ on page 706.

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