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While post-transcriptional control is thought to be required at the periphery of neurons and glia, its extent is unclear. Here, we investigate systematically the spatial distribution and expression of mRNA at single molecule sensitivity and their corresponding proteins of 200 YFP trap lines across the intact Drosophila nervous system. 97.5% of the genes studied showed discordance between the distribution of mRNA and the proteins they encode in at least one region of the nervous system. These data suggest that post-transcriptional regulation is very common, helping to explain the complexity of the nervous system. We also discovered that 68.5% of these genes have transcripts present at the periphery of neurons, with 9.5% at the glial periphery. Peripheral transcripts include many potential new regulators of neurons, glia, and their interactions. Our approach is applicable to most genes and tissues and includes powerful novel data annotation and visualization tools for post-transcriptional regulation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Biol

Publication Date





Animals, Drosophila, Drosophila Proteins, Neuroglia, Neurons, Transcription Factors, RNA, Messenger, RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional