There has recently been a huge increase in interest in the formation of stable G-quadruplex structures in mRNAs and their functional significance. In neurons, local translation of mRNA is essential for normal neuronal behaviour. It has been discovered that local translation of specific mRNAs encoding some of the best known synaptic proteins is dependent on the presence of a G-quadruplex. The recognition of G-quadruplexes in mRNAs, their transport as repressed complexes and the control of their translation at their subcellular destinations involves a diversity of proteins, including those associated with disease pathologies. This is an exciting field, with rapid improvements to our knowledge and understanding. Here, we discuss some of the recent work on how G-quadruplexes mediate local translation in neurons.

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