Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New understanding of protein's role in brain

Date:
April 13, 2010
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Brains in mammals modify a particular protein in a unique way, which alters the protein's normal function according to new research. The modified protein plays a key role in memory processes. This discovery represents an important step in understanding how our brains work.

How do we process thoughts and store memories? A team of researchers headed by Dr. Nahum Sonenberg of McGill's Department of Biochemistry and Goodman Cancer Centre has discovered that brains in mammals modify a particular protein in a unique way, which alters the protein's normal function. This discovery represents an important step in understanding how our brains work.

Related Articles


When our memories are being formed, nerve cells, or neurons, communicate with each other through electrical impulses at specialized connections. To strengthen these connections, the neurons require new proteins -- key molecules needed for all forms of cellular activity. The protein in question, 4E-BP2, controls the process of producing new proteins in the nervous system.

This process, known as protein synthesis or translation, is the major focus of research in Sonenberg's laboratory. Before the team's discovery, no one knew 4E-BP2 could be chemically altered in such a manner as the team described in its work, much less that this could have an effect on neuron function.

According to the lead researcher Dr. Michael Bidinosti, a recent graduate from Sonenberg's laboratory, "we found a modification to a protein that controls the cellular protein-synthesis machinery. This modification seems to affect the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other and is thought to be part of the processes underlying memory."

He explains that study of protein synthesis and of memory are increasingly converging fields, and that the team's research is an important achievement in this arena. Collaboration was critical to the discovery as the team includes researchers from the Universitι de Montrιal, the Montreal Neurological Institute, the University of Toronto, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and the University of Bergen in Norway.

"Better understanding of protein synthesis in the brain is crucial to the advancement of neuroscience, particularly as researchers discover that altered proteins may have a direct impact on the memory process," says Dr. Anthony Phillips, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction. "CIHR hopes that these new findings will lead to more research aimed at ultimately solving memory loss issues."

The research was published in the journal Molecular Cell on March 25, 2010, and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Bidinosti was supported by a Postgraduate Doctoral Scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Bidinosti, Israeli Ran, Maria R. Sanchez-Carbente, Yvan Martineau, Anne-Claude Gingras, Christos Gkogkas, Brian Raught, Clive R. Bramham, Wayne S. Sossin, Mauro Costa-Mattioli et al. Postnatal Deamidation of 4E-BP2 in Brain Enhances Its Association with Raptor and Alters Kinetics of Excitatory Synaptic Transmission. Molecular Cell, 26 March 2010; 37(6) pp. 797 - 808 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.02.022

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "New understanding of protein's role in brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325131553.htm>.
McGill University. (2010, April 13). New understanding of protein's role in brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325131553.htm
McGill University. "New understanding of protein's role in brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325131553.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) — Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) — The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) — The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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