Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists pinpoint proteins vital to long-term memory

Date:
September 12, 2013
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
Scientists have found a group of proteins essential to the formation of long-term memories.

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a group of proteins essential to the formation of long-term memories.

The study, published online ahead of print on September 12, 2013 by the journal Cell Reports, focuses on a family of proteins called Wnts. These proteins send signals from the outside to the inside of a cell, inducing a cellular response crucial for many aspects of embryonic development, including stem cell differentiation, as well as for normal functioning of the adult brain.

"By removing the function of three proteins in the Wnt signaling pathway, we produced a deficit in long-term but not short-term memory," said Ron Davis, chair of the TSRI Department of Neuroscience. "The pathway is clearly part of the conversion of short-term memory to the long-term stable form, which occurs through changes in gene expression."

The findings stem from experiments probing the role of Wnt signaling components in olfactory memory formation in Drosophila, the common fruit fly -- a widely used doppelgδnger for human memory studies. In the new study, the scientists inactivated the expression of several Wnt signaling proteins in the mushroom bodies of adult flies -- part of the fly brain that plays a role in learning and memory.

The resulting memory disruption, Davis said, suggests that Wnt signaling participates actively in the formation of long-term memory, rather than having some general, non-specific effect on behavior.

"What is interesting is that the molecular mechanisms of adult memory use the same processes that guide the early development of the organism, except that they are repurposed for memory formation," he said. "One difference, however, is that during early development the signals are intrinsic, while in adults they require an outside stimulus to create a memory."

The first author of the study, "Wnt signaling is required for long-term memory formation," is Ying Tan of the Baylor College of Medicine. Other authors include Germain U. Busto of TSRI and Curtis Wilson of Baylor College of Medicine.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NS19904).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Ying Tan, Dinghui Yu, Germain U. Busto, Curtis Wilson, Ronald L. Davis. Wnt Signaling Is Required for Long-Term Memory Formation. Cell Reports, 12 September 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.007

Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists pinpoint proteins vital to long-term memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912143317.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2013, September 12). Scientists pinpoint proteins vital to long-term memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912143317.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Scientists pinpoint proteins vital to long-term memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912143317.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 1, 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