Scientists have found the general manager for the memory


26/12/2011

Scientists have discovered a major protein that is responsible for the formation of human memory. Npas4 protein in response to a stimulus that requires memorization, activates other proteins that connect neurons and create new neural "memory."

The learning process takes place as a result of the formation of new neural circuits. Neurons establishing contact with each other to form new synapses - is formed as a neural capacity where a unit of information stored. To emergence of new synapses must be activated set of proteins, so scientists have suggested that there should be one main "managing" these proteins.

U.S. scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed for this role protein Npas4. It was observed that the most active, it behaves in the hippocampus - brain region responsible for the non-volatile memory. The most active this protein starts to show during the production of new skills.

Scientists conducted an experiment on mice. In the cage of animals struck an electric shock, the mice remembered it and, once again, hitting the cage, showed fear of subsequent stroke. Rodents, in which the scientists disabled the gene Npas4, could not remember what awaited them in the cage and boldly ran in to her every time. In this case, the process of remembering to turn off, it was enough to turn off a gene in the region of the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning.

Scientists have noted that the protein Npas4 began to manifest itself before anyone else, and in fact it started with the process of remembering. The specificity of the protein was the fact that it is only activated when needed was something to remember. By its nature, the transcription factor protein appeared, indicating that the other enzymes, when it is necessary to enter into operation.

At the conclusion of scientists, protein-protein Npas4 also ruled that formed and strengthened synaptic connections. Unlike other proteins that control memory, Npas4 depends on the activity of enzymes that promote retention of information. Although mice affected by only one stimulus, the researchers believe that this protein is responsible for storing all types of memory. To confirm or refute this fact, the researchers plan to conduct a number of experiments testing the possibility of "the general manager for the memory" of a protein Npas4.

The news produced Oksana Skripko


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