On December 8, 2023, the Conférence Monod-Diderot will welcome Erin Schuman (Max Planck Institute for Brain Research) who will speak on the theme:
Local Neuronal Transcriptomes and Proteomes
“The complex morphology of neurons, with synapses located 100’s of microns from the cell body, necessitates the localization of important cell biological machines and processes within dendrites and axons. I will discuss our studies on the localization of mRNAs and protein synthesis machines- ribosomes- at synapses. In addition, I will describe some of the unique mechanisms neurons use to meet protein demands at synapses.”
Erin Schuman’s Lab
Erin Schuman lab’s long-standing research interest is the study of cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that underlie information processing and storage. The lab focuses on the molecular and cell biological processes that control protein synthesis and degradation in neurons and their synapses. The complex morphology of neurons, with most synapses located hundreds of microns from the cell body, presents a logistical challenge for the establishment, maintenance and modification of local synaptic proteomes. Neurons have solved this problem by localizing important cell biological machines, including ribosomes and proteasomes, within dendrites and axons.
Following on the lab’s initial discovery in 1996 that proteins made locally in dendrites are required for synaptic plasticity, they have pursued the identification of the mRNA and ribosome population present in neuronal dendrites and axons. The lab has discovered thousands of mRNAs present in dendrites and axons and characterized the unique regulatory elements present in these mRNAs.
In addition, they are elucidating the population of mRNAs translated in subcellular compartments as well as the nature and format of ribosomes present. In order to address the above questions, they have developed platforms to label, purify, identify and visualize newly synthesized proteins in neurons and other cells using non-canonical amino acid metabolic labelling, click chemistry, and mutation of cell-biological enzymes (the BONCAT and FUNCAT techniques). The lab’s current focus is on the nature and specialization of mRNA, protein synthesis and protein degradation machines and mechanisms in neurons. The lab also uses zebrafish as a system to study the molecular and cellular underpinnings of social behavior.