Dr. Tarn, Woan-Yuh 's publons link picture

Dr. Tarn, Woan-Yuh

Distinguished Research Fellow
  • 02-27899015 (Lab) (Room No: N223)
  • 02-26523052
  • 02-27829142 (Fax)



  1. mRNA splicing in neuron
  2. translational control in cancer
  3. long non-coding RNA

Education and Positions:
  • Ph.D. National Tsing Hua University
    Postdoc Assoc. Yale University

Highlight Detail

DDX3 modulates dendrite outgrowth and dendritic spine formation via PKA–Rac1 signaling in primary hippocampal neurons.

Dr. Tarn, Woan-Yuh
The Journal of Neuroscience, Sep 21, 2016

The RNA helicase DDX3 is essential for efficient expression of Rac1, which regulates actin dynamics in a range of cellular processes including neuronal morphogenesis. Here we demonstrate that DDX3 is important for dendritic spine formation. DDX3 knockdown decreased the population of mature mushroom-shaped dendritic spines, but increased the population of immature filopodia-shaped as well as irregular dendritic spines. Rac1 overexpression rescued dendritic spine density but not spine maturation in DDX3 knockdown neurons. The latter particularly required activation of PKA, a potential activator of Rac1 in neurons, suggesting that DDX3-activated PKA and Rac1 expression sequentially modulates dendritic spine formation.