Navigation Links
Montreal researchers probe the genetic basis of memory

A group of Montreal researchers has discovered that GCN2, a protein in cells that inhibits the conversion of new information into long-term memory, may be a master regulator of the switch from short-term to long-term memory. Their paper Translational control of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory by the eIF2a kinase GCN2, which was published in the August 25th issue of the journal Nature, provides the first genetic evidence that protein synthesis is critical for the regulation of memory formation.

This new discovery is the fruit of an international collaboration. The work of McGill researchers Nahum Sonenberg, Karim Nader, Wayne Sossin and Claudio Cuello, Jean-Claude Lacaille and Nabil Seidah of the Universit?de Montr´┐Żal, and David Ron of New York University sheds light on the mysterious workings of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

"Not all new information we acquire is stored as long-term memory," says Dr. Costa-Mattioli, a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Sonenberg, who spearheaded the research project. "For example, it takes most people a number of attempts to learn new things, such as memorizing a passage from a book. The first few times we may initially succeed in memorizing the passage, but the memory may not be stored completely in the brain and we will have to study the passage again."

In a series of experiments, the researchers demonstrated that mice bred without the GCN2 protein (known as transgenic mice) acquire new information that does not fade as easily as that of normal mice. This new information is more frequently converted into long-term memory. The researchers concluded that GCN2 may prevent new information from being stored in long-term memory.

Adds Dr.Jean-Claude Lacaille: "The process of switching to long-term memory in the brain requires both the activation of molecules that facilitate memory storage, and the silencing of proteins such as GCN2 tha t inhibit memory storage."

Although research on humans is still a distant possibility, the scientists believe their discovery may hold promise in the treatment of a variety of illnesses linked to memory. "The discovery of the role of GCN2 in long-term memory may help us develop targeted drugs designed to enhance memory in patients with memory loss due to illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease, where protein synthesis and memory are impaired," concludes Dr. Karim Nader.


Source:University of Montreal

Related biology news :

1. Montreal researchers identify defects of immune cells
2. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
3. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
4. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
5. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
6. Why do insects stop breathing? To avoid damage from too much oxygen, say researchers
7. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
8. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
9. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
10. Self-assembled nano-sized probes allow Penn researchers to see tumors through flesh and skin
11. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... interface solutions, today announced expansion of its TDDI ... touch controller and display driver integration (TDDI) ... smartphones. These new TDDI products add to the ... resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD resolution) ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... LONDON , Nov. 11, 2015   ... and reliable analytical tools has been paving the ... and qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, ... sensors are being predominantly used in medical applications, ... and environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... About signature verification Signature ... identify and verify the identity of an individual ... secure and accurate method of authentication and is ... because each individual,s signature is highly unique. Signature ... signature of an individual is compared and matched ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... -- Studies reveal the differences in species ... the way for more effective treatment for one of the ... --> --> Gum disease ... cats, yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated ... conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, ... will participate in a fireside chat discussion at the ... New York . The discussion is scheduled for ... .  A replay will be available ... Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: ... speaking at the following conference, and invited investors to ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ... Conference, New York, NY      Tuesday, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the ... the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that as of the ... developments that would cause the recent movements in the ... --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: