The poly(A)-binding protein (PABP), a key component of different ribonucleoprotein complexes, plays a crucial role in the control of mRNA translation rates, stability, and subcellular targeting. In this study we identify RING zinc finger protein Makorin 1 (MKRN1), a bona fide RNA-binding protein, as a binding partner of PABP that interacts with PABP in an RNA-independent manner. In rat brain, a so far uncharacterized short MKRN1 isoform, MKRN1-short, predominates and is detected in forebrain nerve cells. In neuronal dendrites, MKRN1-short co-localizes with PABP in granule-like structures, which are morphological correlates of sites of mRNA metabolism. Moreover, in primary rat neurons MKRN1-short associates with dendritically localized mRNAs. When tethered to a reporter mRNA, MKRN1-short significantly enhances reporter protein synthesis. Furthermore, after induction of synaptic plasticity via electrical stimulation of the perforant path in vivo, MKRN1-short specifically accumulates in the activated dendritic lamina, the middle molecular layer of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Collectively, these data indicate that in mammalian neurons MKRN1-short interacts with PABP to locally control the translation of dendritic mRNAs at synapses.