Navigation Links
Key protein, FABP5, enhances memory and learning
Date:5/2/2014

Case Western Reserve researchers have discovered that a protein previously implicated in disease plays such a positive role in learning and memory that it may someday contribute to cures of cognitive impairments. The findings regarding the potential virtues of fatty acid binding protein 5 (FABP5) usually associated with cancer and psoriasis appear in the May 2 edition of The Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"Overall, our data show that FABP5 enhances cognitive function and that FABP5 deficiency impairs learning and memory functions in the brain hippocampus region," said senior author Noa Noy, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the School of Medicine. "We believe if we could find a way to upregulate the expression of FABP5 in the brain, we might have a therapeutic handle on cognitive dysfunction or memory impairment in some human diseases."

FABP5 resides in many tissues and is especially highly expressed in the brain. Noy and her Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism colleagues particularly wanted to understand how this protein functioned in neurons. They performed imaging studies comparing the activation of a key transcription factor in the brain tissue of normal mice and in FABP5-deficient mice. (Transcription factor is a protein the controls the flow of genetic information). The investigations revealed that FABP5 performs two different functions in neurons. First, it facilitates the degradation of endocannabinoids, which are neurological modulators controlling appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory. Second, FABP5 regulates gene expression, a process that essentially gives cells their marching orders on structure, appearance and function.

"FABP5 improves learning and memory both because it delivers endocannabinoids to cellular machinery that breaks them down and because it shuttles compounds to a transcription factor that increases the expression of cognition-associated genes," Noy said.

Even though endocannabinoids affect essential physiological processes from appetite to memory, the "cannabinoid" part of the word signifies that these natural biological compounds act similarly to drugs such as marijuana and hashish. Too much endocannabinoid can lead to impaired learning and memory.

In simple terms, FABP5 transports endocannabinoids for processing. FABP5 functions like a bus and carries the brain's endocannabinoids and their biological products to two stations within the neuron cell. FABP5 captures endocannabinoids entering the neuron and delivers them to an enzyme that degrades them (station 1). Then, that degraded product is picked up by the same protein (FABP5) and shuttled to the cell nucleus specifically, to a transcription factor within it (station 2). Binding of the degraded product activates the transcription factor and allows it to induce expression of multiple genes. The genes that are induced in this case tell the cells to take steps that promote learning and memory.

Noy and associates also compared memory and learning in FABP5-deficient mice and in normal ones. In one test, both sets of mice repeatedly swam in mazes that had a platform in one established location where they could climb out of the water. During subsequent swims, the wild-type mice reached the platform quickly because they had learned and remembered its location. Their FABP5-deficient counterparts took much longer, typically finding the platform's location by chance.

"In addition to regulating cell growth as in skin and in cancer cells, for example, FABP5 also plays a key role in neurons of the brain," Noy said. "FABP5 controls the biological actions of small compounds that affect memory and learning and that activate a transcription factor, which regulates neuronal function."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeannette Spalding
jxs1243@case.edu
216-368-3004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Cats are able to navigate complex combinations of wet and dry foods to achieve a consistent intake of protein, fat and carbohydrate
2. Hulk protein, Grb10, controls muscle growth
3. Coral chemical warfare: Suppressing a competitor enhances susceptibility to a predator
4. Transitioning epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells enhances cardiac protectivity
5. Hydrogen peroxide vapor enhances hospital disinfection of superbugs
6. Partnership enhances biology teaching at California community colleges
7. Loss of memory in Alzheimers mice models reversed through gene therapy
8. Scientists identify critical new protein complex involved in learning and memory
9. How kids brain structures grow as memory develops
10. New technology detect cellular memory
11. Researchers pinpoint brain region essential for social memory
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 This BCC ... bioinformatic market by reviewing the recent advances in ... that drive the field forward. Includes forecast through ... Identify the challenges and opportunities that exist in ... software solution developers, as well as IT and ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016   Parabon NanoLabs ... the U.S. Army Research Office and the Defense ... and sensitivity of the company,s Snapshot Kinship ... Mission and, more generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although ... capabilities (predicting appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence), ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... YORK , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, the ... Association (AHA) announced plans to develop a first of ... computing power of IBM Watson. In the first application ... AHA, IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok will ... and health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on Welltok,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 - New FDA action date of ... FDA action date of July 22, 2016   ... 22, 2016   - Lifitegrast has ... indicated for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye ... potential to be the only product approved in the U.S. in the past decade indicated ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 Beike Biotechnology, the ... medical institutions attended a ceremony in late 2015 to ... cell therapy in 2016. --> ... Translation Platform for Personalized Cell Therapy" was hosted by ... Production Center, both subsidiaries of Beike Biotechnology Co., Ltd. ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016 ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ... the development and commercialization of targeted antiviral therapies, announced ... Investor Conference 2016, to be held February 8-9, 2016, ... Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth & Healthcare Conference, taking place ... 10-11, 2016. James Sapirstein , Chief Executive ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Strasbourg, France ... --> Strasbourg, France , to the ... PharmaVentures is pleased to announce that it acted as an ... unit in Strasbourg, France , to the ... --> --> Transgene (Euronext: TNG), a member ...
Breaking Biology Technology: