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BMC Bioinformatics

Open Access

UTR extension and alternate polyadenylation in neuroplasticity: an emerging paradigm?

Contributed equally
BMC Bioinformatics201415(Suppl 10):P11

Published: 29 September 2014


Gene FunctionProtein InteractionNeurological DiseaseUntranslated RegionSpecific Regulation


The 3’-untranslated region (3’UTR) of mRNA transcripts contributes to cell-type specific or developmental-stage specific regulation of gene functions by modifying cellular localization, stability and/or translational efficiency of transcripts.

Materials and methods

Using RNA-seq to profile transcripts from neural tissue undergoing axonal plasticity, we detected approximately 1000 previously uncharacterized 3’UTR sequences, of which more than 100 are highly regulated when plasticity is induced.


Computational analyses of the novel UTR sequences, focusing on RNA-binding protein (RNAbp) interaction motifs revealed strongly over-represented RNAbps with known roles in nervous system pathologies. We consider the implications of 3’UTR transcript extension and protein interaction in the context of axonal plasticity and the consequences of mis-regulation of this process during neurological disease.


Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, USA
Department of Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA
Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, University of Louisville, Louisville, USA
Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, USA
Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, USA


© Harrison et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.