Makuch L, Volk L, Anggono V, Johnson RC, Yu Y, Duning K, Kremerskothen J, Xia J, Takamiya K, Huganir RL.
Regulation of AMPA receptor function by the human memory-associated gene KIBRA.
Neuron. 2011 Sep 22;71(6):1022-9.
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Interesting papers. It's quite amazing that a protein linked to enhanced memory performance can be linked to synaptic plasticity, and AMPAR trafficking. The study by Makuch et al. provides more evidence that AMPA-R trafficking is an important regulated process in memory formation. Given that the T allele may provide some protection against AD, it supports a role for defects in AMPAR trafficking in AD. In this context it would be nice to know how the T allele changes AMPAR trafficking in model systems.
I find it both interesting and important to reveal the molecular role of KIBRA in learning and memory. I would say that these findings are well in line with ours by showing that the role for KIBRA is mediated through an impact on learning and memory processes in the hippocampus. This strong molecular link to hippocampal processing strengthens our suggestion that the increased hippocampal activation seen in T carriers reflects improved hippocampal processing that actually mediates the increased memory performance of this group. It remains to be seen whether the polymorphism studied (rs17070145) is functional (although it is intronic), or in linkage disequilibrium with another polymorphism that is functional.