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Scientists uncover previously unknown mechanism of memory formation
Date:1/30/2013

in the amagdala, as well as an underappreciated mechanism for regulating protein synthesis during memory consolidation, Miller said.

Further analysis identified miR-182 as a repressor of proteins that control actina major component of the cytoskeleton, the scaffolding that holds cells together.

"We know that memory formation requires changes in dendritic spines on the neurons through regulation of the actin cytoskeleton," Miller said. "When miR-182 is suppressed through learning it halts, at least in part, repression of actin-regulating proteins, so there's a good chance that miR-182 exerts important control over the actin cytoskeleton."

Miller is now interested in whether or not high levels of miR-182 accumulate in the aging brain, something that would help to explain a tendency toward memory loss in the elderly. She also notes that other research has shown that animal models lacking miR-182 had no significant physical or cellular abnormalities, suggesting that miR-182 could be a viable target for drug discovery.


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Contact: Eric Sauter
esauter@scripps.edu
267-337-3859
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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