RNA and protein networks that locally control brain wiring during development


March 11, 2015 - 1:00pm
NW 243
About the Speaker
Alex Murphy (Macklis Lab)

The molecular machineries of growth cones control the formation of neural circuits in the developing brain. Although great progress has been made in elucidating axon guidance cues and their growth cone receptors, we still lack an understanding of the projection-specific RNA and protein networks in growth cones that likely control the wiring of specific circuits in vivo. To understand how specific projection neurons make wiring decisions, we focused on callosal projection neurons (CPN), which connect the two cerebral hemispheres through the corpus callosum. We developed an approach to profile and quantify the full-depth transcriptomes and proteomes of CPN growth cones and their parent cell bodies isolated in vivo. Through comparative analysis, we uncovered general patterns of RNA and protein subcellular localization, with several previously unrecognized features, that might control the wiring of specific brain circuits. This approach is readily adaptable to other projection types in the brain, enabling high-throughput, quantitative investigation of RNA and protein controls over circuit development.