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Researchers connect APC protein to autism and mental retardation
Date:8/23/2010

new insights into the mechanisms required for proper synapse function as well as molecular changes at the synapse that likely contribute to autistic behaviors and learning deficits in people with APC loss of function gene mutations," said Jacob.

"Our study also sheds light on a poorly-understood but essential process, the cross-talk that occurs between presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. When we perturbed APC function on the postsynaptic side, we saw changes on both sides of the synapse, indicating that APC organizes a protein complex that communicates against the normal flow of traffic," said first author Madelaine Rosenberg, PhD, an affiliate of the department of neuroscience at TUSM.

The research team's next step is to examine the behavioral and cognitive changes that occur when APC is deleted in neurons of the mammalian brain. They have developed a new mouse model that will allow them to investigate how the loss of APC function leads to synaptic changes and impaired learning and memory.


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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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