Navigation Links
Scientists Identify Genes Activated During Learning and Memory

Researchers have long recognized that for learning and memory to take place, certain genes must be activated to alter neuron activity inside the brain//. Disruptions in normal gene expression within these neurons can lead to alarming consequences, such as seizures and epilepsy. But identifying and cataloging all the genes involved in learning is a daunting task. In the March 13 issue of BMC Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University scientists show how an innovative computational approach can provide a rapid way to identify the likely members of this long sought-after set of genes.

'The work could ultimately lead to the development of drugs to treat neurological disorders,' said Alison Barth, assistant professor of biological sciences and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC). 'We also expect this work to provide a valuable platform for any investigator to understand how neurons change at the molecular level during learning and the formation of memory.'

As an animal learns and remembers, specific neurons inside its brain are activated. The molecular changes associated with learning alter a neuron's function — a process called plasticity. For many years, neuroscientists have known that two factors, CREB and zif268, activate genes involved in neuronal plasticity and learning. CREB and zif268 are transcription factors, binding to a cluster of chemical bases represented in the genetic code as letters. Once bound, they regulate genes that, in turn, dictate the assembly of other proteins that alter a neuron during memory and learning.

The Carnegie Mellon team created a step-by-step set of instructions for a computer to search the letters of code that make up the human genome to find just those genes activated by CREB and zif268. They specifically searched almost 20,000 genes to find those that CREB and zif268 bind to. This work, conducted by Carnegie Mellon undergraduate Andreas Pfenning and supervised by Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Russell Schwartz, was also performed on our distant mammalian relative, the mouse.

The computer program found hundreds of instances of genes that bind with either CREB or zif268 — and sometimes both — in human and mouse genomes. A huge proportion of these genes had never been previously identified as CREB or zif268 targets.

'Finding a gene that appears to be activated in both the mouse and human strongly suggests that the gene is involved in memory and learning,' said Schwartz. 'Genes that behave similarly in distantly related animals are more likely to have an important function that has been retained over the course of evolution.'

The Carnegie Mellon team has made its findings available and searchable via an open source/online journal. Previous studies on genes associated with neural plasticity have not focused on a complete set of genes, nor has the work been searchable, according to Barth. But now, their online database of the plasticity transcriptome includes the gene name, symbol and reference number — data that are not usually all collected and made freely available.

'By using standard nomenclature and multiple identifiers, we've made this a robust set of data for future research studies,' Schwartz added.

Source-Generef
ME/B
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Scientists plan human cloning clinic in the United States
2. Scientists found ancient Human Germ Killer
3. Scientists locate key hormone involved in appetite control
4. Scientists open the book of life
5. Scientists review SARS
6. Scientists crack dengue fever puzzle
7. Scientists push to lower hidden sodium in food
8. Indian Scientists Make Wide-Ranging Analysis And Annotation Of X Chromosome
9. Scientists have found effective brain regions for deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s
10. Scientists reveal the secrets of sarcasm
11. Scientists Unveil Mechanism Behind Resistance to Severe Malaria
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Russ ... announced the first national #QuackGivesBack campaign which supported local breast cancer organizations during ... franchise-wide Quack Gives Back initiative, and we’re very pleased with the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... With the increasing demand for dental implants, the National ... campaign to inform dentists and patients about the safety issues related to dental restorations. ... in the U.S. is projected to reach $6.4 billion in 2018 with more than ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced ... was set up in 2006 as a non-profit organization to unite pharmaceutical and ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Healthcare is in flux. The ... for the mass media launching of story movements to highlight what's most unfair ... unfortunate experiences; such a movement can generate the network power to improve healthcare ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... with offices that serve communities in and around the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, ... Homeless Youth Connection. , The mission of the Homeless Youth Connection is to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 A Small Business Innovative ... Institutes of Health (NIH) to Phoenix ... The grant will seek to determine an ... which utilizes electromagnetic waves to treat Alzheimer,s Disease. The ... technology to possibly treat other neurologic disorders such as ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Economic growth in the United States will ... management executives in their December 2016 Semiannual Economic Forecast. ... that began in mid-2009, as indicated in the monthly ... . The manufacturing sector is optimistic about growth in ... industries, and the non-manufacturing sector indicates that 14 of ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 2016  Hanson Research, an innovative leader in ... diffusion testing instruments for the pharmaceutical industry, announced ... Inc. ("Teledyne"). The move is designed to deepen ... instruments, as well as expand resources for further ... and services. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161208/446988LOGO ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: