Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Sci. STKE, 27 July 2004
Vol. 2004, Issue 243, p. tw271
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2432004tw271]

EDITORS' CHOICE

NEUROSCIENCE Memories of Proteolysis

Inhibition of proteolysis, and presumably activation of a protease target, appears to be required for proper formation of long-term memory in Drosophila. Comas et al. used a genetic screen to isolate a Drosophila mutant that has a deficit in long-term memory in response to a training protocol. The affected gene encodes a protein, Cer, that closely resembles the N-terminal portion of some members of the cathepsin family of cysteine proteinases. Usually this N-terminal portion inhibits cathepsin activity of the catalytic portion of the same molecule, but Cer seems to be a separate inhibitory molecule. In fact, protein-protein interaction maps indicate that Cer interacts with three cathepsin-like proteins from the fly, two of which lack the usual inhibitory N-terminal region. Formation of long-term memory seemed to require just the right amount of Cer. The Cer protein is expressed in neuronal and glial cells, and too much Cer, as a result of overexpression of Cer in glial cells, also caused a decrease in long-term memory. In wild-type flies, amounts of Cer mRNA and protein were transiently reduced 3 hours after training. These studies and others (see Related Resources) suggest new dimensions to the roles of cathepsins in signaling.

D. Comas, F. Petit, T. Preat, Drosophila long-term memory formation involves regulation of cathepsin activity. Nature 430, 460-463 (2004). [Online Journal]

Citation: Memories of Proteolysis. Sci. STKE 2004, tw271 (2004).



To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882