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New review article uncovering protein homeostasis

Together with Professor Erin Schuman from Max Planck Institute, Group Leader Chao Sun has recently published a new review article focusing on the intricacy and complexity of neuronal protein homeostasis. The article has been published in Current Opinion in Neurobiology.

While our memories can last for decades, protein molecules in the brain live no more than a week on average before they are degraded and replaced by freshly made proteins. This means the brain is dependent on new protein production to stay healthy. Such constant renewal of protein molecules represents an essential process in the brain, also known as protein homeostasis. The synthesis of new proteins by brain cells (i.e. neurons) is a major part of protein homeostasis. For example, is new protein production necessary for long-term memory

The imbalance of protein homeostasis is a hallmark of many neurodevelopmental and degenerative diseases.

The latest review by GL Chao Sun and Professor Erin Schuman from Max Planck Institute summarizes the latest multi-omics progress in neuronal protein production, focusing on quantitative and systems-level insight into protein synthesis in dendrites, axons, and synapses.

These subcellular compartments together take up around 90% of a neuron’s volume and protein demand. By analyzing features of local protein synthesis, the authors also speculated on the ‘logic’ of local protein production. i.e. Which proteins should be made locally at synapses?

These insights capture the intricacy and complexity of neuronal protein homeostasis.