Learning and memory: How neurons activate PP1

A study in The Journal of Cell Biology describes how neurons activate the protein PP1, providing key insights into the biology of learning and memory.

PP1 is known to be a key regulator of synaptic plasticity, the phenomenon in which remodel their in order to store and relay information—the foundation of learning and memory. But how PP1 is controlled has been unclear. Now, a team led by researchers from the LSU Health Science Center describes several mechanisms for PP1 regulation that close some major gaps in our understanding of its role in neuronal signaling.

Among the novel findings, the researchers describe how the neurotransmitter NMDA leads to activation of PP1. They show that, when NMDA activates , it switches off an enzyme, Cdk5, that would otherwise inhibit PP1. This allows PP1 to activate itself and promote synaptic remodeling. In addition, the researchers suggest that, despite its name, a regulatory protein called inhibitor-2 helps promote PP1 activity in neurons. Together, these findings significantly extend our understanding of how PP1 is regulated in the context of .

More information: Hou, H., et al. 2013. J. Cell Biol. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201303035

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research divines structure for class of proteins

Sep 08, 2010

Most proteins are shapely. But about one-third of them lack a definitive form, at least that scientists can readily observe. These intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) perform a host of important biological ...

New research divines structure for class of proteins

Sep 21, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most proteins are shapely, but about one-third of them lack a definitive form, at least that scientists can readily observe. These intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) perform a host of ...

Recommended for you

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

18 hours ago

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

Team finds an off switch for pain

23 hours ago

In research published in the medical journal Brain, Saint Louis University researcher Daniela Salvemini, Ph.D. and colleagues within SLU, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other academic institutions have d ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

beleg
not rated yet Nov 06, 2013
The foundation of learning and memory is not known.
Who wrote this article?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.