Navigation Links
Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein

A cellular enzyme appears to play a crucial role in the manufacture of a protein needed for long-term memory, according to a team of researchers led by scientists at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The protein is known as mBDNF, which stands for mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor. In an earlier study, another team of NICHD researchers had shown that mBDNF is essential for the formation of long-term memory, the ability to remember things for longer than a day.

“Understanding how BDNF is made may help us to better understand the learning process, perhaps leading to better treatments for disorders of learning and memory,?said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

The research team was led by Y.Peng Loh Ph.D, of NICHD’s Section on Cellular Neurobiology. The researchers published their work in the January 20 issue of Neuron.

Specifically, the researchers discovered that the enzyme carboxypeptidase E, (CPE) is needed to deliver the early, or inactive, form of BDNF ?proBDNF ?to a special compartment in the neuron (nerve cell.) Once in the compartment, proBDNF is chemically converted into active mBDNF. After mBDNF is formed, it is released to the outside of the neuron, where it binds to receptors on other neurons and stimulates them to form long-term memory.

Dr. Loh explained that, like other proteins, proBDNF is made inside the endoplasmic reticulum, a convoluted network of tubes and channels inside the cell. The proBDNF winds through the endoplasmic reticulum until it reaches another structure within the cell, the golgi apparatus. There, the proBDNF binds to CPE, which protrudes from special rafts of fatty, cholesterol-rich molecules known as lipids. If this binding process does not take place, proBDNF cannot be converted to its active form. Dr. Loh explained that the proBDNF molecule has four projection s, resembling prongs. These prongs fit into a corresponding indentation on CPE, analogous to the way a plug for an electric appliance fits into an electric wall outlet, Dr. Loh said.

The golgi apparatus then encases the lipid rafts ?along with proBDNF ?in bubble-like structures known as vesicles. Within these vesicles, proBDNF is converted to mBDNF by other enzymes. The vesicles are then transported to the cell’s outer membrane, where they remain until they are ready to be secreted. Once the cell receives an electrical signal from another neuron, these vesicles fuse with the cell’s outer membrane, open up, and release mBDNF.

During their research, Dr. Loh and her colleagues observed mice genetically incapable of producing CPE. In these mice, proBDNF could not be delivered into the lipid raft-rich vesicles for conversion to mBDNF. Instead, it appeared to leak out of the golgi apparatus, where it leached through the cell membrane without first having been converted to active mBDNF. Because they cannot make mBDNF, CPE-deficient mice have poor long-term memory.

Dr. Loh added that, in the near future, an understanding of the chemical mechanism she and her colleagues deciphered in the current study may provide insight into long-term memory deficits. She explained that other researchers have learned that some human beings lack normal CPE due to mutations in the CPE gene. Future research may determine if the CPE mutation affects these individuals?long-term memory.



Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
4. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
5. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
6. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
7. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
8. Researchers add new tool to tumor-treatment arsenal
9. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
10. VCU Researchers Identify Networks Of Genes Responding To Alcohol In The Brain
11. Researchers develop rapid diagnostic tool for pathogen identification
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, the ... to industry to share solutions for the Biometric Exit ... Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends ... departing the United States , in ... to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , June 15, 2016 ... published a new market report titled "Gesture Recognition Market ... Trends and Forecast, 2016 - 2024". According to the ... at USD 11.60 billion in 2015 and is ... and reach USD 48.56 billion by 2024.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation of ... company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the Company"), ... portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the treatment ... represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing the ... cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ky. , June 23, 2016 ... two Phase 1 clinical trials of its complement ... placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies designed ... pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult ... subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose (ranging ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. (RCA), ... free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root Cause. ... no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to the Regulatory ...
Breaking Biology Technology: