Isolation of a G protein that is modified by learning and reduces potassium currents in Hermissenda

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Science  23 Mar 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4949, pp. 1479-1483
DOI: 10.1126/science.2108498


In Hermissenda crassicornis conditioned to associate light and rotation, type B photoreceptor neurons exhibit pairing-specific decreases in the potassium currents IA and IK-Ca, which account for many of the behavioral changes elicited by associative conditioning. To determine which proteins are involved in storage of this memory, high-performance liquid chromatography was used to examine proteins from Hermissenda eyes. Conditioning-specific changes in four phosphoproteins were observed 24 hours after conditioning. One of these proteins, cp20, was purified to apparent homogeneity and found to be a G protein. When injected back into Hermissenda type B cells, cp20 reduced IK and IK-Ca in a manner indistinguishable from the reduction caused by conditioning, suggesting that this protein may play a crucial role in memory acquisition or retention.

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