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A Loss of Function Allele for Murine Staufen1 Leads to Impairment of Dendritic Staufen1-RNP Delivery and Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis

John P. Vessey, Paolo Macchi, Joel M. Stein, Martin Mikl, Kelvin N. Hawker, Petra Vogelsang, Krzysztof Wieczorek, Georgia Vendra, Julia Riefler, Fabian Tübing, Samuel A. J. Aparicio, Ted Abel and Michael A. Kiebler
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 105, No. 42 (Oct. 21, 2008), pp. 16374-16379
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25465098
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A Loss of Function Allele for Murine Staufen1 Leads to Impairment of Dendritic Staufen1-RNP Delivery and Dendritic Spine Morphogenesis
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Abstract

The dsRNA-binding protein Staufen was the first RNA-binding protein proven to play a role in RNA localization in Drosophila. A mammalian homolog, Staufen1 (Stau1), has been implicated in dendritic RNA localization in neurons, translational control, and mRNA decay. However, the precise mechanisms by which it fulfills these specific roles are only partially understood. To determine its physiological functions, the murine Stau1 gene was disrupted by homologous recombination. Homozygous $stau1^{tm1Apa}$ mutant mice express a truncated Stau1 protein lacking the functional RNA-binding domain 3. The level of the truncated protein is significantly reduced. Cultured hippocampal neurons derived from $stau1^{tm1Apa}$ homozygous mice display deficits in dendritic delivery of Stau1-EYFP and β-actin mRNA-containing ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs). Furthermore, these neurons have a significantly reduced dendritic tree and develop fewer synapses. Homozygous $stau1^{tm1Apa}$ mutant mice are viable and show no obvious deficits in development, fertility, health, overall brain morphology, and a variety of behavioral assays, e.g., hippocampus-dependent learning. However, we did detect deficits in locomotor activity. Our data suggest that Stau1 is crucial for synapse development in vitro but not critical for normal behavioral function.

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