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Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L3 (Uchl3) is involved in working memory.

Authors
  • Wood, Marcelo A
  • Kaplan, Michael P
  • Brensinger, Colleen M
  • Guo, Wensheng
  • Abel, Ted
Type
Published Article
Journal
Hippocampus
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2005
Volume
15
Issue
5
Pages
610–621
Identifiers
PMID: 15884048
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Regulated proteolysis by the ubiquitin pathway has been implicated in control of the cell cycle, transcriptional activation, cell fate and growth, and synaptogenesis. The ubiquitin-proteasome system is involved in synaptic plasticity and is proposed to be part of a molecular switch that converts short-term synaptic potentiation to long-term changes in synaptic strength. In Aplysia, a component of the ubiquitin system termed ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase (Ap-Uch) has been shown to be essential for long-term facilitation. To examine whether Uch plays a role in learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity in mammals, we have analyzed mice homozygous for a targeted mutation in ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L3 (Uchl3), an orthologue of Ap-Uch. Mice homozygous for the mutation in Uchl3 are viable, with no obvious developmental, histological, or fertility abnormalities. We demonstrate that Uchl3-/- mice have a significant learning deficit relative to wild type littermates in the spatial version of the Morris water maze and the 8-arm radial maze. Further, the impaired performance in the 8-arm radial maze of Uchl3-/- mice is due to significantly increased working memory errors. Examination of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a form of synaptic plasticity thought to underlie memory storage, revealed no significant differences in LTP in hippocampal slices from Uchl3-/- mice. Our results suggest a novel role for ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase enzymes in mammals in spatial learning and working memory.

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