HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Long-term memory controlled by molecular pathway at synapses

Harvard University biologists have identified a molecular pathway active in neurons that interacts with RNA to regulate the formation of long-term memory in fruit flies. The same pathway is also found at mammalian synapses, and could eventually present a target for new therapeutics to treat human memory loss.

The findings will be presented this week on the web site of the journal Cell.

Even for a fruit fly, learning and memory are important adaptive tools that facilitate survival in the environment. A fly can learn to avoid what may do it harm, such as a flyswatter, or in the laboratory, an electric shock that happens when it smells a certain odor.

"It has been known for some time that learning and long-term memory require synthesis of new proteins, but exactly how protein synthesis activity relates to memory creation and storage has not been clear," says Sam Kunes, professor of molecular and cellular biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "We have been able to monitor, for the first time, the synthesis of protein at the synapses between neurons as an animal learns, and we found a biochemical pathway that determines if and where this protein synthesis happens. This pathway, called RISC, interacts with RNA at synapses to facilitate the protein synthesis associated with forming a stable memory. In fruit flies, at least, this process makes the difference between remembering something for an hour and remembering it for a day or more."

Together with lead author Shovon Ashraf, a postdoctoral researcher in Harvard's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Harvard undergraduates Anna McLoon and Sarah Sclarsic, Kunes found that messenger RNA (mRNA) -- a genetic photocopy that conveys information from DNA to a cell's translation machinery -- is transported to synapses as a memory begins to form. This mRNA transport, and the protein synthesis that follows, are facilitated by components of the RISC pathway, which use very sh
'"/>

Contact: Steve Bradt
steve_bradt@harvard.edu
617-496-8070
Harvard University
12-Jan-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Long-term ulcerative colitis study shows Remicade responders maintained improvement
2. Long-term marijuana smoking leads to respiratory complaints
3. Long-term cancer risk follows stem cell transplant recipients
4. Long-term ocean data confirm fishing puts species in double jeopardy
5. Long-term lead exposure linked to cognitive decline in older adults
6. Long-term changes in experience cause neurons to sprout new long-lasting connections
7. Long-term study shows brain function not impaired by tight diabetes control and hypoglycemia
8. Long-term ecological research should include studies on how social science interacts with ecosystems
9. Research study describes the role part of the brain plays in memory
10. How memory T cells curb the spread of viruses throughout the body
11. Neuronal activity gives clues to working memory

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/21/2019)... ... 2019 , ... The ASGCT Clinical Trials Finder is a customizable ... United States. Data curated daily from ClinicalTrials.gov ensures the most up-to-date and applicable listings ... to assist in the development of the ASGCT Clinical Trials Finder reviewed ...
(Date:5/16/2019)... ... ... In a FDA-contracted Standard Coordinating Body Workshop held at the ... Asymmetrex founder and director James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D. predicted a sea ... cells. Many of the gathered participants dismissed this idea. Few argued against ...
(Date:5/14/2019)... ... May 14, 2019 , ... IMMUNE 3D®, ... beyond immuno-oncology into areas of autoimmunity, fibrosis and skin immunology. In addition, the ... lines for IO discovery efforts. , IMMUNE 3D®’s proprietary platform aims to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2019)... ... 30, 2019 , ... The centuries old practice of brewing beer thrives today ... breweries, and even home brewing clubs scattered across the nation. , But proper ... mastered can produce a superb product. Students at South Dakota School of Mines ...
(Date:5/2/2019)... , ... May 02, 2019 , ... ... clinic in the greater Boston area. Gone are the days of painful hair ... iX Robotic Hair Restoration System is the only robotic intelligent solution to offer ...
(Date:4/18/2019)... ... April 18, 2019 , ... Taking a ... includes a chemical engineer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a novel ... possible to manufacture isobutanol and other biofuels more economically. , Isobutanol, like ethanol, ...
(Date:4/15/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Sirrus, Inc., a developer of novel electron-deficient ... to increase production of methylene malonate monomers and oligomers. , The expanded bench ... production facility, which is scheduled to break ground in 2019. “The expanded facility ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: