Publication Date


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Academic Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, MD/PhD


Program in Molecular Medicine

First Thesis Advisor

Joel Richter


tuberous sclerosis, fragile X syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, synaptic plasticity, ribosome profiling


Mutations in TSC2 cause the disorder tuberous sclerosis (TSC), which has a high incidence of autism and intellectual disability. TSC2 regulates mRNA translation required for group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor-dependent synaptic long-term depression (mGluR-LTD), but the identity of mRNAs responsive to mGluR-LTD signaling in the normal and TSC brain is largely unknown. We generated Tsc2+/- mice to model TSC autism and performed ribosome profiling to identify differentially expressed genes following mGluR-LTD in the normal and Tsc2+/- hippocampus. Ribosome profiling reveals that in Tsc2+/-mice, RNA-binding targets of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) are increased. In wild-type hippocampus, induction of mGluR-LTD caused rapid changes in the steady state levels of hundreds of mRNAs, many of which are FMRP targets. Moreover, mGluR-LTD signaling failed to promote phosphorylation of eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2) in Tsc2+/- mice, and chemically mimicking phospho-eEF2 with low cycloheximide enhances mGluR-LTD in the Tsc2+/- brain. These results suggest a molecular basis for bidirectional regulation of synaptic plasticity by TSC2 and FMRP. Furthermore, deficient mGluR-regulated translation elongation contributes to impaired synaptic plasticity in Tsc2+/- mice.



Rights and Permissions

Licensed under a Creative Commons license

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License