Dr. Nicoll will begin by introducing models of how the brain stores information. He will then introduce long-term potentiation (LTP) and summarize the essential role of AMPA receptor auxiliary subunits, referred to as TARPs, and their binding to the synaptic scaffolding protein PSD-95. In the mid 1980’s Crick and Lisman independently proposed a two-step model for molecular storage. The first step requires a multimeric protein whose subunits phosphorylate each other. The second step requires that the multimeric protein can undergo subunit exchange, such that naïve unactive subunits can be incorporated into the active multimeric protein. The second step solves the problem of memory storage in the face of molecular turnover. Much of the talk will focus on CaMKII and the maintenance of LTP (memory). Dr. Nicoll will present physiological evidence indicating that CaMKII satisfies all the expectations proposed by Crick and Lisman.
This lecture is co-presented with the Department of Neurosciences.