Apr 16, 2016

Memory Suppressor Gene Identified

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience


Authors of the new study included The Scripps Research Institute’s (left to right)  Research Associate Ze Liu, Research Associate Yunchao Gai and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience Ron Davis.Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) identified a gene that suppresses memory in the brain cells of fruit flies, and the findings could provide targets for potential new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

The team, led by Ron Davis, chair of TSRI’s Department of Neuroscience scanned about 3,500 Drosophila genes, and found multiple dozen memory suppressor genes that help the brain prioritize information and keep certain important memories.

The gene known as DmSLC22A was of particular interest, and when the team disabled it they found the flies’ memory improved nearly two-fold. “The fact that this gene is active in the same pathway as several cognitive enhancers currently used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease suggests it could be a potential new therapeutic target,” Davis said in a prepared statement.

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