Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Montreal researchers probe the genetic basis of memory

31.08.2005

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. Their paper Translational control of hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory by the eIF2a kinase GCN2, which was published in the August 25th issue of the journal Nature, provides the first genetic evidence that protein synthesis is critical for the regulation of memory formation.

This new discovery is the fruit of an international collaboration. The work of McGill researchers Nahum Sonenberg, Karim Nader, Wayne Sossin and Claudio Cuello, Jean-Claude Lacaille and Nabil Seidah of the Université de Montréal, and David Ron of New York University sheds light on the mysterious workings of the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

"Not all new information we acquire is stored as long-term memory," says Dr. Costa-Mattioli, a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Sonenberg, who spearheaded the research project. "For example, it takes most people a number of attempts to learn new things, such as memorizing a passage from a book. The first few times we may initially succeed in memorizing the passage, but the memory may not be stored completely in the brain and we will have to study the passage again."

In a series of experiments, the researchers demonstrated that mice bred without the GCN2 protein (known as transgenic mice) acquire new information that does not fade as easily as that of normal mice. This new information is more frequently converted into long-term memory. The researchers concluded that GCN2 may prevent new information from being stored in long-term memory.

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

Although research on humans is still a distant possibility, the scientists believe their discovery may hold promise in the treatment of a variety of illnesses linked to memory. "The discovery of the role of GCN2 in long-term memory may help us develop targeted drugs designed to enhance memory in patients with memory loss due to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, where protein synthesis and memory are impaired," concludes Dr. Karim Nader.

| EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>