Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Montreal Researchers Probe The Genetic Basis Of Memory

August 31, 2005
University of Montreal
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.

Related Articles

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 October 25, 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This

More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. 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.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


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