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Zawartość zarchiwizowana w dniu 2024-05-29

Functional genomics of synaptic strength and memory storage

Final Activity Report Summary - GENE-MEMORY (Functional genomics of synaptic strength and memory storage)

Understanding how the brain stores memories is one of the greatest challenges in science. The transmission of information between neurons occurs at specialised points of contact called synapses. The formation of new memories is thought to require a lasting change in the signalling strength of synaptic connections. The generation of such stable changes, in analogy to consolidation of long-term memory, depends on new protein synthesis. Such new synthesis allows synapses to change their shape, size, and signalling strength.

The scientific goal of the GENE-MEMORY RTN was to identify gene networks as well as important individual genes and proteins underlying synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. We have tackled this problem through the use of advanced high-throughput analytic techniques (microarrays and proteomics) in combination with neurophysiological, biochemical, behavioural, and bioinformatic studies. The project has identified the involvement of unexpected gene regulatory networks, including immune-related genes, as well as genes previously associated with cancer and nervous system development. The project has also provided evidence that synaptic activity triggers the local synthesis of some proteins that are necessary for memory.

Finally, an integrated biochemical-systems biological approach has resulted in the identification of protein signal complexes at synapses that decode synaptic input patterns.