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RNA-binding protein research with transcriptome-wide technologies in neural development

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An increasing number of studies have demonstrated that neural RNA-binding proteins (nRNABPs) participate in several steps of neural development through post-transcriptional regulation of their RNA targets (Grabowski Curr Opin Genet Dev 21:388–394, 2011). Classical genetics and in vitro biochemical approaches have identified several important RNA targets of nRNABPs linked to cell-fate decision and neuronal functions. In recent years, new technologies, such as unbiased in vivo protein–RNA interaction approaches, high-throughput sequencing-cross-linked immunoprecipitation (HITS-CLIP), microarrays, RNAseq and others, have been developed. The use of these with genetics has succeeded in defining a dynamic range of RNA targets of RNABPs at the transcriptome-wide level. This new platform also provides the mechanistic insights into a specific biological function of nRNABPs. This review highlights the discoveries and challenges of the interplay between the nRNABPs and their biological functions in neural development.

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The authors would like to thank Dr. Yoshika Yano for a critical reading. This work was supported by “Funding Program for World-leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology” to H.O. and the MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists, the Takeda Science Foundation for medical science research, Keio Gijuku Academic Development Funds and the Mochida Memorial Foundation for medical and pharmaceutical research to M.Y.

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Correspondence to Masato Yano or Hideyuki Okano.

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Yano, M., Ohtsuka, T. & Okano, H. RNA-binding protein research with transcriptome-wide technologies in neural development. Cell Tissue Res 359, 135–144 (2015).

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  • RNA-binding protein
  • Neural development