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Sci. Signal., 14 February 2012
Vol. 5, Issue 211, p. ec50
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002948]


Neuroscience Challenging the Mushroom Bodies

Peter R. Stern

Science, AAAS, Cambridge CB2 1LQ, UK

Early memory is labile and is gradually consolidated over time into long-lasting, stable memory. In several species, including mammals, memory consolidation depends on protein synthesis. In Drosophila, long-term memory is produced by spaced repetitive training, which induces cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)–response element–binding protein (CREB)–dependent gene transcription and de novo protein synthesis. Using a large number of genetic tools, Chen et al. (see the Perspective by Dubnau) localized this CREB-dependent induction of de novo protein synthesis to two dorsal-anterior-lateral neurons in the adult brain. Importantly, protein synthesis was not required within the mushroom bodies, which are usually considered to be the site of associative learning and memory in insects.

C.-C. Chen, J.-K. Wu, H.-W. Lin, T.-P. Pai, T.-F. Fu, C.-L. Wu, T. Tully, A.-S. Chiang, Visualizing long-term memory formation in two neurons of the Drosophila brain. Science 335, 678–685 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

J. Dubnau, Ode to the mushroom bodies. Science 335, 664–665 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: P. R. Stern, Challenging the Mushroom Bodies. Sci. Signal. 5, ec50 (2012).

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