The Ataxin-2 protein is required for microRNA function and synapse-specific long-term olfactory habituation Journal Article uri icon



  • ; Local control of mRNA translation has been proposed as a mechanism for regulating synapse-specific plasticity associated with long-term memory. We show here that glomerulus-selective plasticity of; Drosophila; multiglomerular local interneurons observed during long-term olfactory habituation (LTH) requires the Ataxin-2 protein (Atx2) to function in uniglomerular projection neurons (PNs) postsynaptic to local interneurons (LNs). PN-selective knockdown of Atx2 selectively blocks LTH to odorants to which the PN responds and in addition selectively blocks LTH-associated structural and functional plasticity in odorant-responsive glomeruli. Atx2 has been shown previously to bind DEAD box helicases of the Me31B family, proteins associated with Argonaute (Ago) and microRNA (miRNA) function. Robust transdominant interactions of; atx2; with; me31B; and; ago1; indicate that Atx2 functions with miRNA-pathway components for LTH and associated synaptic plasticity. Further direct experiments show that Atx2 is required for miRNA-mediated repression of several translational reporters in vivo. Together, these observations (; i; ) show that Atx2 and miRNA components regulate synapse-specific long-term plasticity in vivo; (; ii; ) identify Atx2 as a component of the miRNA pathway; and (; iii; ) provide insight into the biological function of Atx2 that is of potential relevance to spinocerebellar ataxia and neurodegenerative disease.;

publication date

  • September 6, 2011

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • February 20, 2014 11:01 AM

Full Author List

  • McCann C; Holohan EE; Das S; Dervan A; Larkin A; Lee JA; Rodrigues V; Parker R; Ramaswami M

author count

  • 9

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Additional Document Info


  • 108


  • 36