Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Understanding the Components of Memory

06.10.2014

Freiburg neurobiologists elucidate the spatial and temporal dynamics of specific glutamate receptors in the brain

Dr. Uwe Schulte, Dr. Jochen Schwenk, Prof. Dr. Bernd Fakler, and their team have elucidated the enormous spatial and temporal dynamics in protein composition of the AMPA-type glutamate receptors, the most important excitatory neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. These receptors are located in the synapses, the contact points between two nerve cells, where they are responsible for the rapid signal transduction and information processing. The results illustrate that the receptors are far more diverse than previously anticipated and pave the way for research into their functions in the various regions of the brain. The biologists published their findings in the journal Neuron.


The structure determines the function: AMPA receptors in the nerve cells of the brain are composed of a range of more than 30 different proteins. Source: Bernd Fakler

The researchers have thus opened up the possibility to investigate the properties and functions of the AMPA receptors in the various regions of the brain at the level of their protein components.

This is of particular significance as the AMPA receptors and their dynamics are regarded as central elements for memory formation. The researchers succeeded in elucidating the subunit structure of the AMPA receptors in various regions of the brain and even in different groups of distinct nerve cells.

It became clear that the receptors exhibit an enormous range of variation in structure and molecular architecture and can evidently be precisely adapted to the function of the nerve cells and brain region in which they are located. In addition, the researchers demonstrated that this diversity in protein composition of the receptors is also exploited during the development of the brain.

In 2012, Fakler’s research team already used novel proteomic technologies to show that AMPA receptors in the brain are assembled from a pool of more than 30 different proteins - whose primary function(s) is are most parts as yet unknown.

In fact in another recent study, also published in Neuron, the researchers demonstrated just how significant these unknown components are or can be: They showed that the cornichon protein dictates the time course of the AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and thus accounts for the difference between various types of nerve cells in the brain.

Uwe Schulte, Jochen Schwenk, and Bernd Fakler conduct their research at the Institute of Physiology and at the Cluster of Excellence BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies of the University of Freiburg.

Rudolf-Werner Dreier | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Further information:
http://www.pr.uni-freiburg.de/pm/2014/pm.2014-10-06.101-en

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
21.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>