Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits, aggressive behavior

Date:
March 26, 2014
Source:
Universität Basel
Summary:
Learning and memory relies on the proper processing of signals that stimulate neuronal cells within the brain. Researchers have uncovered an important role for the protein coronin 1 in cognition and behavior. They found that a lack of coronin 1 in mouse and in humans is associated with poor memory, defective learning and aggressive behavior.

The absence of coronin 1 in neurons results in severe neurobehavioral defects. Coronin 1 (green) in neurons within the amygdala of the brain. Red: neurofilament as neuronal marker; Blue: nuclear stain.
Credit: Illustration: University of Basel, Biozentrum

Learning and memory relies on the proper processing of signals that stimulate neuronal cells within the brain. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, together with an international team of scientists, has uncovered an important role for the protein coronin 1 in cognition and behavior. They found that a lack of coronin 1 in mouse and in man is associated with poor memory, defective learning and aggressive behavior. The results, recently published in PLOS Biology, identify a novel risk factor for neurobehavioral dysfunction and reveal a molecular pathway involved in transferring information within neurons.

Organisms must be able to sense signals from the outside and translate these into biochemical cues in order to adequately respond to their environment. This capability is also required to process information that reaches the brain. Within the brain, stimulation of neurons activates genes that are required, for example for learning and memory. In collaboration with an international and interdisciplinary team the research group led by Prof. Jean Pieters from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has now uncovered the role of an evolutionarily conserved protein, called coronin 1, in providing a link between the extracellular stimulus and neuronal activation that ultimately results in efficient learning and memory in both mice and men.

From the immune system to the brain

In earlier work, Pieters' team discovered the protein coronin 1 as being essential for the proper transduction of signals in immune cells. In mice lacking coronin 1 the researchers further investigated the molecular mechanism. Surprisingly, these mice showed aberrant behavior. In particular, mice lacking coronin 1 appeared to be far more aggressive and display extreme grooming activity, an indication of reduced sociability. An in-depth analysis in collaboration with scientists from the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and the University of Bordeaux unveiled profound learning and behavioral problems and severe defects in the ability to activate neurons in the absence of coronin 1.

Activation of a signaling cascade

But how does coronin 1 ensure proper neurobehavioral functioning? Normally, stimulation of the cell surface results in an activation of an intracellular cascade of reactions and ultimately stimulates the production of the signaling molecule cAMP which then activates a number of processes, including the transcription of gene involved in neurobehavior. "We found that in the absence of coronin 1, cell surface stimulation leads to a defective cAMP production," explains Pieters. "This in turn affects the signal transduction which is finally responsible for the deficits in learning and memory formation."

Of mice and men

Furthermore, the researchers analyzed the clinical history of a patient lacking coronin 1 due to a mutation: it turned out that this patient showed learning defects and aggressive behavior. With this study, Pieters and his project collaborators not only define a crucial role for coronin 1 in cognition and behavior, but also unravel a coronin 1-dependent signaling pathway that may be explored both for potential risk factors as well as future interventions to modulate neurobehavioral dysfunction.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Rajesh Jayachandran, Xiaolong Liu, Somdeb BoseDasgupta, Philipp Müller, Chun-Lei Zhang, Despina Moshous, Vera Studer, Jacques Schneider, Christel Genoud, Catherine Fossoud, Frédéric Gambino, Malik Khelfaoui, Christian Müller, Deborah Bartholdi, Helene Rossez, Michael Stiess, Xander Houbaert, Rolf Jaussi, Daniel Frey, Richard A. Kammerer, Xavier Deupi, Jean-Pierre de Villartay, Andreas Lüthi, Yann Humeau, Jean Pieters. Coronin 1 Regulates Cognition and Behavior through Modulation of cAMP/Protein Kinase A Signaling. PLoS Biology, 2014; 12 (3): e1001820 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001820

Cite This Page:

Universität Basel. "Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits, aggressive behavior." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326092246.htm>.
Universität Basel. (2014, March 26). Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits, aggressive behavior. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326092246.htm
Universität Basel. "Lack of coronin 1 protein causes learning deficits, aggressive behavior." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326092246.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) — Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) — Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. 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