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Protein Translation and LTP

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Science  25 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5555, pp. 589
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5555.589c

Synaptic plasticity that underlies learning and memory processes, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), requires the synthesis and localization of proteins to facilitate changes in synaptic strength. Tang et al. report that a translational signaling pathway involving the rapamycin-sensitive kinase known as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and its downstream effectors, eukaryotic initiation factor-4E-binding protein and eukaryotic initiation factor-4E, are present in the cell body and dendrites of rat hippocampal neurons. These proteins were particularly enriched in postsynaptic sites. When hippocampal slices were treated with rapamycin, the magnitude of late-phase LTP decreased, and rapamycin also inhibited the stimulatory effect of brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor on LTP. How synaptic activity activates the mTOR signaling pathway during LTP will be of interest. — LDC

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.99, 467 (2002).

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