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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2018 May;77:33-42. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Arc protein: a flexible hub for synaptic plasticity and cognition.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedicine and KG Jebsen Center for Neuropsychiatric Disorders, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, N-5009, Bergen, Norway.
2
Department of Biomedicine and KG Jebsen Center for Neuropsychiatric Disorders, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91, N-5009, Bergen, Norway. Electronic address: Clive.Bramham@biomed.uib.no.

Abstract

Mammalian excitatory synapses express diverse types of synaptic plasticity. A major challenge in neuroscience is to understand how a neuron utilizes different types of plasticity to sculpt brain development, function, and behavior. Neuronal activity-induced expression of the immediate early protein, Arc, is critical for long-term potentiation and depression of synaptic transmission, homeostatic synaptic scaling, and adaptive functions such as long-term memory formation. However, the molecular basis of Arc protein function as a regulator of synaptic plasticity and cognition remains a puzzle. Recent work on the biophysical and structural properties of Arc, its protein-protein interactions and post-translational modifications have shed light on the issue. Here, we present Arc protein as a flexible, multifunctional and interactive hub. Arc interacts with specific effector proteins in neuronal compartments (dendritic spines, nuclear domains) to bidirectionally regulate synaptic strength by distinct molecular mechanisms. Arc stability, subcellular localization, and interactions are dictated by synaptic activity and post-translational modification of Arc. This functional versatility and context-dependent signaling supports a view of Arc as a highly specialized master organizer of long-term synaptic plasticity, critical for information storage and cognition.

KEYWORDS:

Immediate early gene; Memory; Post-translational modifications; Protein structure; Protein-protein interactions; Synaptic plasticity

PMID:
28890419
DOI:
10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.09.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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