The RNA binding protein CPEB regulates dendrite morphogenesis and neuronal circuit assembly in vivo. Academic Article uri icon


  • Visual system development requires experience-dependent mechanisms that regulate neuronal structure and function, including dendritic arbor growth, synapse formation, and stabilization. Although RNA binding proteins have been shown to affect some forms of synaptic plasticity in adult animals, their role in the development of neuronal structure and functional circuitry is not clear. Using two-photon time-lapse in vivo imaging and electrophysiology combined with morpholino-mediated knockdown and expression of functional deletion mutants, we demonstrate that the mRNA binding protein, cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein1 (CPEB1), affects experience-dependent neuronal development and circuit formation in the visual system of Xenopus laevis. These data indicate that sensory experience controls circuit development by regulating translational activity of mRNAs.

publication date

  • December 23, 2008