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Erk1/2 SIGNALING IN MEMORY CONSOLIDATION AND ALLOCATION

Objective

The growing aging population of the EU predicts a steady increase in the health and economic burden of mental decline. Hence, the study of the molecular basis of long-term memory formation is a central topic in neuroscience with forseeable social implications. The Erk1/2 MAPK signaling pathway has been strongly implicated in the consolidation of episodic, hippocampus-dependent memories, and it also supports lasting forms of neuroplasticity. However, knowledge on neuronal Erk1/2 signaling is largely limited to mechanisms of activation. If left unchecked, Erk1/2 activation can be detrimental to cognition. It is therefore crucial to understand what intracellular processes rapidly inactivate Erk1/2 following stimulation by synaptic activity, and how they contribute to memory endurance and precision. Furthermore, although Erk1/2 couples to CREB activation, the role of CREB-mediated transcription in memory allocation is poorly defined. It is also not known how the multiple synaptic inputs innervating the hippocampus support memory-associated MAPK signaling. I propose to implement a multidisciplinary approach that will experimentally address these related gaps. We will explore novel forms of Erk1/2 regulation, from the role of tyrosine phosphatases to afferent neural projections and cellular ensembles. To achieve these goals, we will use a combination of transgenic mice, viral vectors for opto- and chemo-genetics, behavioral assays, biochemistry, and confocal imaging. These studies will yield basic insights into molecular mechanisms of memory and hippocampal physiology.

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2013-CIG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)

Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA
Address
Gran Via De Les Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona
Spain
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 87 500
Administrative Contact
Xavier Gutierrez (Dr.)