Bernardo Pinto

Post-Doctoral Fellow

Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Start Year: 2020
Starting Institution: The University of Chicago
Current Institution: The University of Chicago
Project Title: Exploring local translation regulation in the squid giant axon

Neurons have the challenging task of providing the molecular machinery to axons that extend far away from the cell body. Supplying proteins during axon development and maintenance requires temporal and spatial control. This is achieved through local protein synthesis in the axon. Only a handful of axonal RNAs are translated at a given time and the molecular mechanisms involved in this regulation are largely unknown. This project aims to stablish the squid giant axon as a model to study local translation and test the effects of electrical activity and redox state in the synthesis of axonal proteins. In this preparation, the axon is detached from the soma and high quantities of axoplasm can be obtained simply by extrusion. These properties will facilitate the determination of newly synthesized proteins. This will be a first step into understanding the regulation of protein synthesis in the axonal compartment.