Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Montreal Researchers Probe The Genetic Basis Of Memory

Date:
August 31, 2005
Source:
University of Montreal
Summary:
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.

Thisnew discovery is the fruit of an international collaboration. The workof McGill researchers Nahum Sonenberg, Karim Nader, Wayne Sossin andClaudio Cuello, Jean-Claude Lacaille and Nabil Seidah of the Universitéde Montréal, and David Ron of New York University sheds light on themysterious workings of the hippocampus, a region of the brainresponsible for learning and memory.

"Not all new information weacquire is stored as long-term memory," says Dr. Costa-Mattioli, apost-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Sonenberg, whospearheaded the research project. "For example, it takes most people anumber of attempts to learn new things, such as memorizing a passagefrom a book. The first few times we may initially succeed in memorizingthe passage, but the memory may not be stored completely in the brainand we will have to study the passage again."

In a series ofexperiments, the researchers demonstrated that mice bred without theGCN2 protein (known as transgenic mice) acquire new information thatdoes not fade as easily as that of normal mice. This new information ismore frequently converted into long-term memory. The researchersconcluded that GCN2 may prevent new information from being stored inlong-term memory.

Adds Dr.Jean-Claude Lacaille: "The process ofswitching to long-term memory in the brain requires both the activationof molecules that facilitate memory storage, and the silencing ofproteins such as GCN2 that inhibit memory storage."

Althoughresearch on humans is still a distant possibility, the scientistsbelieve their discovery may hold promise in the treatment of a varietyof illnesses linked to memory. "The discovery of the role of GCN2 inlong-term memory may help us develop targeted drugs designed to enhancememory in patients with memory loss due to illnesses such asAlzheimer's disease, where protein synthesis and memory are impaired,"concludes Dr. Karim Nader.

###

About Université de Montréal
Foundedin 1878, the Université de Montréal counts 13 faculties and, along withits two affiliated schools, HEC Montréal and l'École Polytechnique, isQuebec's largest institution of higher learning, second in Canada, andamong the most active in North America. With a faculty of 2,400professors and researchers, the university has a student population ofmore than 55,000, offers more than 650 undergraduate and graduateprograms and awards some 3,000 Master's and PhD degrees each year.

About McGill University
McGillUniversity is Canada's leading research-intensive university and hasearned an international reputation for scholarly achievement andscientific discovery. Founded in 1821, McGill has 21 faculties andprofessional schools which offer more than 300 programs from theundergraduate to the doctoral level. McGill attracts renownedprofessors and researchers from around the world and top students frommore than 150 countries, creating one of the most dynamic and diverseeducation environments in North America. There are approximately 23,000undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students. It is one of twoCanadian members of the American Association of Universities. McGill'stwo campuses are located in Montreal, Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Montreal. "Montreal Researchers Probe The Genetic Basis Of Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050830070225.htm>.
University of Montreal. (2005, August 31). Montreal Researchers Probe The Genetic Basis Of Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050830070225.htm
University of Montreal. "Montreal Researchers Probe The Genetic Basis Of Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050830070225.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) — Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins