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 new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

nachricht CWRU researchers find a chemical solution to shrink digital data storage
22.06.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>