Impaired motor functions in mice lacking the RNA-binding protein Hzf.
ABSTRACT Local protein synthesis in dendrites plays an important role in some aspects of neuronal development and synaptic plasticity. Neuronal RNA-binding proteins regulate the transport and/or translation of the localized mRNAs. Previously, we reported that hematopoietic zinc finger (Hzf) is one of the neuronal RNA-binding proteins that regulate these processes. The Hzf protein is highly expressed in neuronal cells including hippocampal pyramidal neurons and cerebellar Purkinje cells, and plays essential roles in the dendritic mRNA localization and translation. In the present study we demonstrated that mice lacking Hzf (Hzf(-/-) mice) exhibited severe impairments of motor coordination and cerebellum-dependent motor learning. These findings raise the possibility that the post-transcriptional regulation by Hzf may contribute to some aspects of synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the cerebellum.