“What Memories are Made of”
Host: Rohit Pappu (WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Abstract: We wish to understand how a temporally restricted experience produces a persistent change in behavior and how, among the myriad experiences an animal encounters, only some produce persistent change in behavior. In this context, we are particularly interested in mRNA- binding protein with prion-like domain. While most proteins follow the one protein-one conformation rule, proteins carrying prion-like proteins can assume multiple conformational states in the same cell. In doing so, they can form self-assembling polymers that can vary in physical nature, from liquid crystal to hydrogel to amyloid. Our work thus far suggests that the self-assembled amyloidogenic polymerization of specific variants of neuronal mRNA-binding protein, CPEB, is important for the persistence and expression of behavioral memory. With this mechanistic framework of memory, we are now addressing several questions: How are memories stored and recalled through protein assembly? How the biochemical engram of memory connects to the circuit engram? Could the regulation of protein polymerization explain how and why animal form memory of some but not all experiences? And finally, what is the biochemical basis of forgetting?
For inquiries contact Karen Teasdale.
GETTING TO CAMPUS
Please know that there have been changes to parking on the Danforth Campus due to the east end construction.
Metrolink or biking to the Danforth campus are the easiest options.
If you choose to drive, the closest parking is in Millbrook garage off of Forest Park Parkway and Throop Drive. It will take approx. 15 minutes to walk to our building.