Control of a neuronal morphology program by an RNA-binding zinc finger protein, Unkempt
Author(s)Murn, Jernej; Zarnack, Kathi; Yang, Yawei J.; Durak, Omer; Murphy, Elisabeth A.; Cheloufi, Sihem; Gonzalez, Dilenny M.; Teplova, Marianna; Curk, Tomaž; Zuber, Johannes; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Ule, Jernej; Luscombe, Nicholas M.; Tsai, Li-Huei; Walsh, Christopher A.; Shi, Yang; ... Show more Show less
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Cellular morphology is an essential determinant of cellular function in all kingdoms of life, yet little is known about how cell shape is controlled. Here we describe a molecular program that controls the early morphology of neurons through a metazoan-specific zinc finger protein, Unkempt. Depletion of Unkempt in mouse embryos disrupts the shape of migrating neurons, while ectopic expression confers neuronal-like morphology to cells of different nonneuronal lineages. We found that Unkempt is a sequence-specific RNA-binding protein and identified its precise binding sites within coding regions of mRNAs linked to protein metabolism and trafficking. RNA binding is required for Unkempt-induced remodeling of cellular shape and is directly coupled to a reduced production of the encoded proteins. These findings link post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression with cellular shape and have general implications for the development and disease of multicellular organisms.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Picower Institute for Learning and Memory
Genes & Development
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Murn, Jernej, Kathi Zarnack, Yawei J. Yang, Omer Durak, Elisabeth A. Murphy, Sihem Cheloufi, Dilenny M. Gonzalez, et al. “Control of a Neuronal Morphology Program by an RNA-Binding Zinc Finger Protein, Unkempt.” Genes Dev. 29, no. 5 (March 1, 2015): 501–512.
Final published version