The role of CPEB family proteins in the nervous system function in the norm and pathology.
Posttranscriptional gene regulation includes mRNA transport, localization, translation, and regulation of mRNA stability. CPEB (cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding) family proteins bind to specific sites within the 3'-untranslated region and mediate poly- and deadenylation of transcripts, activating or repressing protein synthesis. As part of ribonucleoprotein complexes, the CPEB proteins participate in mRNA transport and localization to different sub-cellular compartments. The CPEB proteins are evolutionarily conserved and have similar functions in vertebrates and invertebrates. In the nervous system, the CPEB proteins are involved in cell division, neural development, learning, and memory. Here we consider the functional features of these proteins in the nervous system of phylogenetically distant organisms: Drosophila, a well-studied model, and mammals. Disruption of the CPEB proteins functioning is associated with various pathologies, such as autism spectrum disorder and brain cancer. At the same time, CPEB gene regulation can provide for a recovery of the brain function in patients with fragile X syndrome and Huntington's disease, making the CPEB genes promising targets for gene therapy.