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Genes Brain Behav. 2008 Oct;7(7):786-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2008.00420.x. Epub 2008 Jun 30.

Behavioral characterization of P311 knockout mice.

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Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


P311 is an 8-kDa protein that is expressed in many brain regions, particularly the hippocampus, cerebellum and olfactory lobes, and is under stringent regulation by developmental, mitogenic and other physiological stimuli. P311 is thought to be involved in the transformation and motility of neural cells; however, its role in normal brain physiology is undefined. To address this point, P311-deficient mice were developed through gene targeting and their behaviors were characterized. Mutants displayed no overt abnormalities, bred normally and had normal survival rates. Additionally, no deficiencies were noted in motor co-ordination, balance, hearing or olfactory discrimination. Nevertheless, P311-deficient mice showed altered behavioral responses in learning and memory. These included impaired responses in social transmission of food preference, Morris water maze and contextual fear conditioning. Additionally, mutants displayed altered emotional responses as indicated by decreased freezing in contextual and cued fear conditioning and reduced fear-potentiated startle. Together, these data establish P311 as playing an important role in learning and memory processes and emotional responses.

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