A molecular switch for translational control in taste memory consolidation


Dr Kobi Rosenblum, as above.
Email: kobir@psy.haifa.ac.il


In a variety of species memory consolidation following different learning paradigms has been shown to be dependent on protein synthesis. However, it is not known whether modulation of protein synthesis is a critical component of the consolidation process, nor is the identity of any protein(s) subject to translational regulation, known. We report here that phosphorylation of eukaryotic elongation factor-2 (eEF2), an indicator for translational elongation attenuation, is correlated with input that produces taste memory consolidation in the relevant cortex of rat. The temporal pattern of eEF2 phosphorylation is similar to extra-cellular regulated kinase 2 (ERK2) activation and S6K1 phosphorylation, which are known to stimulate translation initiation. In addition, increased eEF2 phosphorylation and increased αCaMKII expression is detected in a synaptoneurosomal fraction made from taste cortex following memory consolidation. These results suggest that increased initiation rate together with decreased elongation rate, during memory consolidation, shift the rate-limiting step of protein synthesis, to produce a local switch-like effect in the expression of neuronal proteins.