Real-Time Imaging Reveals Properties of Glutamate-Induced Arc/Arg 3.1 Translation in Neuronal Dendrites

Youn Na, Sungjin Park, Changhee Lee, Dong Kyu Kim, Joo Min Park, Shanthini Sockanathan, Richard L Huganir, Paul F Worley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The immediate early gene Arc (also Arg3.1) produces rapid changes in synaptic properties that are linked to de novo translation. Here we develop a novel translation reporter that exploits the rapid maturation and “flash” kinetics of Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) to visualize Arc translation. Following glutamate stimulation, discrete Arc-Gluc bioluminescent flashes representing sites of de novo translation are detected within 15 s at distributed sites in dendrites, but not spines. Flashes are episodic, lasting ∼20 s, and may be unitary or repeated at ∼minute intervals at the same sites. Analysis of flash amplitudes suggests they represent the quantal product of one or more polyribosomes, while inter-flash intervals appear random, suggesting they arise from a stochastic process. Surprisingly, glutamate-induced translation is dependent on Arc open reading frame. Combined observations support a model in which stalled ribosomes are reactivated to rapidly generate Arc protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-573
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 3 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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