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Prevention of long-term memory loss after retrieval by an endogenous CaMKII inhibitor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fabio Antonio Vigil, Keiko Mizuno, Walter Lucchesi, Victoria Valls-Comamala, Karl Peter Giese

Original languageEnglish
Article number4040
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date22 Jun 2017
Accepted/In press12 May 2017
E-pub ahead of print22 Jun 2017


King's Authors


CaMK2N1 and CaMK2N2 are endogenous inhibitors of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), a key synaptic signaling molecule for learning and memory. Here, we investigated the learning and memory function of CaMK2N1 by knocking-down its expression in dorsal hippocampus of mice. We found that reduced CaMK2N1 expression does not affect contextual fear long-term memory (LTM) formation. However, we show that it impairs maintenance of established LTM, but only if retrieval occurs. CaMK2N1 knockdown prevents a decrease of threonine-286 (T286) autophosphorylation of αCaMKII and increases GluA1 levels in hippocampal synapses after retrieval of contextual fear LTM. CaMK2N1 knockdown can also increase CaMK2N2 expression, but we show that such increased expression does not affect LTM after retrieval. We also found that substantial overexpression of CaMK2N2 in dorsal hippocampus impairs LTM formation, but not LTM maintenance, suggesting that CaMKII activity is not required for LTM storage. Taken together, we propose a specific function for CaMK2N1; enabling LTM maintenance after retrieval by inhibiting T286 autophosphorylation of αCaMKII.

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