Washington: Scientists have identified a protein that regulates forgetting of short-term memories, such as a new phone number or the name of a new acquaintance. A research team led by a scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has found that forgetting of short-term memory is regulated within neurons by the activity of a protein called Rac.
The scientists reported that the Rac-dependent forgetting mechanism in flies did not affect mechanisms involved in the formation of new memories, specifically a pathway associated with the gene Rutabaga that is mediated by the enzyme adenylyl cyclase. "The molecular basis of short-term memory really has been overlooked by the neuroscience community. It has been widely assumed that such memory is degraded through passive cellular processes. Our experiments challenge the notion by providing evidence of a dedicated mechanism for removing several kinds of short-term memories," Zhong said. The results will be published online ahead of print February 19 in the journal Cell. ANI
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