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Science 304 (5679): 1979-1983

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Regulation of Dendritic Protein Synthesis by Miniature Synaptic Events

Michael A. Sutton, Nicholas R. Wall, Girish N. Aakalu, Erin M. Schuman*

Abstract: We examined dendritic protein synthesis after a prolonged blockade of action potentials alone and after a blockade of both action potentials and miniature excitatory synaptic events (minis). Relative to controls, dendrites exposed to a prolonged blockade of action potentials showed diminished protein synthesis. Dendrites in which both action potentials and minis were blocked showed enhanced protein synthesis, suggesting that minis inhibit dendritic translation. When minis were acutely blocked or stimulated, an immediate increase or decrease, respectively, in dendritic translation was observed. Taken together, these results reveal a role for miniature synaptic events in the acute regulation of dendritic protein synthesis in neurons.

Division of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: schumane{at}

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