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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 1;100(7):4287-92. Epub 2003 Mar 19.

Inducible protein knockout reveals temporal requirement of CaMKII reactivation for memory consolidation in the brain.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


By integrating convergent protein engineering and rational inhibitor design, we have developed an in vivo conditional protein knockout andor manipulation technology. This method is based on the creation of a specific interaction interface between a modified protein domain and sensitized inhibitors. By introducing this system into genetically modified mice, we can readily manipulate the activity of a targeted protein, such as alpha-Ca(2+)calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (alphaCAMKII), on the time scale of minutes in specific brain subregions of freely behaving mice. With this inducible and region-specific protein knockout technique, we analyzed the temporal stages of memory consolidation process and revealed the first postlearning week as the critical time window during which a precise level of CaMKII reactivation is essential for the consolidation of long-term memories in the brain.

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