Chromosome 16: gene involved in memory, Matt Ridley
Interviewee: Matt Ridley. Genes located on chromosomes 2 and 16 are involved in learning and memory. CREB is a gene that mediates long-term memory. It acts as a master gene that turns on other genes, assisted by CREBBP (CREB binding protein). Another memory gene on chromosome 16, alpha-integrin, plays a role in binding cells together, suggesting that memory may result from tightening the connections between neurons. (DNAi Location: Genome > Tour > Genome spots > Chromosomes 16: memory > A chromosome 16 story)
We learn something new and lay down a new, long-term memory, we need genes to help us do it. There's a set of seventeen genes involved in memories, and one of them is here on chromosome 16. It seems as if these genes are actually switched on in order to create new connections between nerve cells in our brains. So the switching on and off of genes, by the act of remembering, means that these aren't genes that are building our bodies, or running our bodies. These are genes involved in the day-to-day processes of actually learning and functioning inside the brain.
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An interactive chromosome map of the genes and loci associated with learning and memory.
The cAMP response element-binding protein 1 (CREB1) gene is a CREB activator and has been found to facilitate long-term memory formation.
Professor Ron Davis explains that the gene CREB is important to memory. Blocking CREB expression, blocks short-term memory formation.
Professor Seth Grant explains that long-term memories are created when the synapse sends a signal to the nucleus to activate certain genes.
CAMP response element-binding protein 2(CREB2) is also known as Activating Transcription Factor 2 (ATF2). CREB2 is a CREB repressor, which means it inhibits long-term memory formation.
Learning and memory are two intimately linked cognitive processes that stem from interactions with the environment (experience).
Matt Ridley talks about chromosome 4, Huntington's Disease.
Professor Eric Kandel explains that events in the environment can have profound effects on gene expression and brain anatomy.
Matt Ridley talks about chromosome 11, gene for dopamine receptors.
Matt Ridley talks about chromosome 18, BCL2 oncogene.