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Proteins Essential for Long-Term Memories Decoded

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on September 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM
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 Proteins Essential for Long-Term Memories Decoded

Researchers have now identified a group of proteins that play a role in long-term memory formation.

The study focuses on a family of proteins called Wnts, which send signals from the outside to the inside of a cell, inducing a cellular response crucial for many aspects of embryonic development, including stem cell differentiation, as well as for normal functioning of the adult brain.

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Ron Davis, chair of the The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) Department of Neuroscience, said that by removing the function of three proteins in the Wnt signaling pathway, they produced a deficit in long-term but not short-term memory.

He said that the pathway is clearly part of the conversion of short-term memory to the long-term stable form, which occurs through changes in gene expression.
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In the new study, the scientists inactivated the expression of several Wnt signaling proteins in the mushroom bodies of adult flies-part of the fly brain that plays a role in learning and memory.

Davis said that the resulting memory disruption suggests that Wnt signaling participates actively in the formation of long-term memory, rather than having some general, non-specific effect on behavior.

The study has been published online in the journal Cell Reports.

Source: ANI
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