Project 2: MicroRNA Regulation of Synapse Plasticity
It has become increasingly clear that neuronal connectivity, function and plasticity all rely on the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Recent studies reveal many hundreds of highly localized mRNAs in axons, dendrites and synapses. With an array of techniques, many of which we are developing with and/or learning from our collaborators, we will determine which MicroRNA (miR) are essential for activity-induced remodeling at the synapse. We will use new genetic tools to define the spatial and temporal logic for each miR function. We will then use a state-of-the-art combination of transcriptome sequencing and computational informatics, followed by use of in vivo activity sensors and functional validation, to discover the downstream mechanisms for each miR that intersects our coordinated screens.