Activity-dependent synapse to nucleus signaling

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Abstract

The unique polarity of neurons requires that synaptic inputs are relayed to the nucleus to trigger changes in gene expression. This long distance signaling process is crucial for the function and survival of neuronal circuits. To that end, neurons have developed multiple modes of signal transmission from the synapse to the nucleus. In this review, we summarize the latest research on activity-dependent movement and nuclear import of postsynaptic proteins that modulate neuronal plasticity. We also focus on the mechanism of active transport as well as the role of importins in mediating nuclear import of the postsynaptic proteins. Finally, we briefly discuss the role of synapse to nucleus signaling in the context of transcription-dependent plasticity and conclude by describing future challenges in this field of research.

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