Navigation Links
Enzyme enhances, erases long-term memories in rats
Date:3/4/2011

Even long after it is formed, a memory in rats can be enhanced or erased by increasing or decreasing the activity of a brain enzyme, say researchers supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

"Our study is the first to demonstrate that, in the context of a functioning brain in a behaving animal, a single molecule, PKMzeta, is both necessary and sufficient for maintaining long-term memory," explained Todd Sacktor, of the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York City, a grantee of the NIH's National Institute of Mental Health.

Sacktor, Yadin Dudai, Ph.D., of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues, report of their discovery March 4, 2011 in the journal Science.

Unlike other recently discovered approaches to memory enhancement, the PKMzeta mechanism appears to work any time. It is not dependent on exploiting time-limited windows when a memory becomes temporarily fragile and changeable just after learning and upon retrieval which may expire as a memory grows older, says Sacktor.

"This pivotal mechanism could become a target for treatments to help manage debilitating emotional memories in anxiety disorders and for enhancing faltering memories in disorders of aging," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.

In their earlier studies, Sacktor's team showed that even weeks after rats learned to associate a nauseating sensation with saccharin and shunned the sweet taste, their sweet tooth returned within a couple of hours after rats received a chemical that blocked the enzyme PKMzeta in the brain's outer mantle, or neocortex, where long-term memories are stored.

In the new study, they paired genetic engineering with the same aversive learning model to both confirm the earlier studies and to demonstrate, by increasing PKMzeta, the opposite effect. They harnessed a virus to infect the neocortex with the PKMzeta gene, resulting in overexpression of the enzyme and memory enhancement. Conversely, introducing a mutant inactive form of the enzyme, that replaced the naturally occurring one, erased the memory much as the chemical blocker did.

These effects applied generally to multiple memories stored in the targeted brain area raising questions about how specific memories might be targeted in any future therapeutic application.

The researchers turned up a clue that may hold the beginning of an answer.

"One explanation of the memory enhancement is that PKMzeta might go to some synapses, or connections between brain cells, and not others," said Sacktor. "Overexpressed PKMzeta may be selectively captured by molecular tags that mark just those brain connections where it's needed likely synapses that were holding the memory from the training."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jules Asher
NIMHpress@nih.gov
301-443-4536
NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. DSM and Codexis Sign Enzyme Supply Agreement
2. 1 group of enzymes could have a positive impact on health, from cholesterol to osteoporosis
3. Team looks to the cow rumen for better biofuels enzymes
4. 2 bacterial enzymes confer resistanceto common herbicide, say MU researchers
5. How the hat fits: Structural biology study reveals shape of epigenetic enzyme complex
6. Chemists document workings of key staph enzyme -- and how to block it
7. Enzyme Engineering XXI
8. DSM and Codexis Sign Enzyme Supply Agreement
9. Scientists discover that a specific enzyme inhibitor may help control lung inflammation
10. UGA researchers identify key enzyme that regulates the early growth of breast cancer cells
11. Gladstone scientists link hepatitis C virus infection to fat enzyme in liver cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Enzyme enhances, erases long-term memories in rats
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... Finland , June 9, 2016 ... National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the ... France during the major tournament ... data communications systems and services, announced today that its video ... Prefecture to back up public safety across the ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , ... Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be ... able to ask questions via voice or text and receive ... Marketers have long sought an advertising ... that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec 2, 2016 Research ... report "Nanobiotechnology Applications, Markets and Companies" to their ... , , ... nanobiotechnology by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is anticipated. Nanotechnology ... from formulations for optimal delivery to diagnostic applications in clinical ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... , ... The Conference Forum has announced that the 3rd annual Immuno-Oncology ... February 1-3, 2017 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Led by advisors ... 360-degree approach, which addresses the most up-to-date information regarding business aspects, clinical advancements and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016   SurePure, Inc. ... announced today that the Company has concluded an agreement ... right for a 90-day period to acquire units of ... of approximately USD 3.7 million.  Concurrently ... with Tamarack under which Tamarack will seek regulatory approvals ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ALBANY, New York , November 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... exceptionally consolidated as a few players hold a dominant ... Lonza Group, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., and Merck ... global market in 2015. Transparency Market Research observes that ... they are focused on development products that are do ...
Breaking Biology Technology: