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Long-Term Memory may be Retained by the Help of Nerve Protein

by Kathy Jones on  November 7, 2011 at 8:04 PM Research News   - G J E 4
A new study has claimed that the nerve protein, tomosyn, plays a crucial role in retaining long-term memory.
 Long-Term Memory may be Retained by the Help of Nerve Protein
Long-Term Memory may be Retained by the Help of Nerve Protein
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According to Janet Richmond and David Featherstone from the UIC, tomosyn plays an important role in regulating the amount of neurotransmitter in the synapse, which is the junction where messages are relayed between nerve cells.

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Tomosyn interacts with a group of proteins known by the acronym SNARE, and that interaction is regulated by an enzyme called PKA, which has been shown to be important for learning.

Keeping this information in mind, the researchers ran experiments on fruit flies to see whether tomosyn plays a role in learning and memory.

The experiments involved the fly's ability to learn to associate a particular odour with an electrical shock.

They found that flies remember the association and will avoid the odour for hours afterwards, but by eliminating out tomosyn, "the flies were unable to retain that memory."

"When synapses get stronger, we learn. When they get weaker, we forget," Featherstone said.

"We discovered that tomosyn is a mechanism that can control whether synapses get stronger or weaker, and this seems to be important for memory formation," he said.

Keeping this information in mind, the researchers ran experiments on fruit flies to see whether tomosyn plays a role in learning and memory.

The experiments involved the fly's ability to learn to associate a particular odour with an electrical shock.

The study has been recently published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: ANI
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