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New publication in Cell Reports for Riccio Lab

Neurons are one of the most specialised cell types in an organism. They have the main role of connecting to each other (eg. in our brain) or to other tissues (eg. our muscles). To reach their targets, neurons grow long cellular extensions, the dendrites and the axon, that have specific functions and rely on the expression of distinct proteins. In the latest paper published in Cell Reports, the Riccio lab uncovers a novel mechanism employed by the neurons to achieve differential gene expression in subcellular compartments. They found that transcripts with long 3’UTR are transported to the axons where they are cleaved to generate an isoform that is translated in protein and a 3’UTR fragment. This allows localised protein expression and generates an as yet undescribed class of non-coding RNA of unknown function. The next steps in their research will focus on understanding the functions performed by the 3'UTR fragments.