Imaging Single-mRNA Localization and Translation in Live Neurons

  • Lee, Byung Hun (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University) ;
  • Bae, Seong-Woo (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University) ;
  • Shim, Jaeyoun Jay (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University) ;
  • Park, Sung Young (Center for RNA Research, Institute for Basic Science) ;
  • Park, Hye Yoon (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2016.11.16
  • Accepted : 2016.12.21
  • Published : 2016.12.31


Local protein synthesis mediates precise spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression for neuronal functions such as long-term plasticity, axon guidance and regeneration. To reveal the underlying mechanisms of local translation, it is crucial to understand mRNA transport, localization and translation in live neurons. Among various techniques for mRNA analysis, fluorescence microscopy has been widely used as the most direct method to study localization of mRNA. Live-cell imaging of single RNA molecules is particularly advantageous to dissect the highly heterogeneous and dynamic nature of messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complexes in neurons. Here, we review recent advances in the study of mRNA localization and translation in live neurons using novel techniques for single-RNA imaging.


live-cell imaging;local translation;MS2-GFP;RNA localization;single-molecule imaging


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea, Institute for Basic Science (NRF)


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