Chapter 4 Cap-dependent translation initiation and memory

Jessica L. Banko, Eric Klann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is widely accepted that changes in gene expression contribute to enduring modifications of synaptic strength and are required for long-term memory. This is an exciting, wide-open area of research at this moment, one of those areas where it is clear that important work is underway but where the surface has just been scratched in terms of our understanding. Much attention has been given to the mechanisms of gene transcription; however, the regulation of transcription is only one route of manipulating gene expression. Regulation of mRNA translation is another route, and is the ultimate step in the control of gene expression, enabling cells to regulate protein production without altering mRNA synthesis or transport. One of the main advantages of this mechanism over transcriptional control in the nucleus lies in the fact that it endows local sites with independent decision-making authority, a consideration that is of particular relevance in neurons with complex synapto-dendritic architecture. There are a growing number of groups that are taking on the challenge of identifying the mechanisms responsible for regulating the process of mRNA translation during synaptic plasticity and memory formation. In this chapter we will discuss what has been discovered with regard to the localization and regulation of mRNA translation during specific types of neuronal activity in the mammalian central nervous system. The data are most complete for cap-dependent translation; therefore, particular attention will be paid to the machinery that initiates cap-dependent translation and its regulation during synaptic plasticity as well as the behavioral phenotypes consequent to its dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProgress in Brain Research
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123


  • eIF4E
  • learning and memory
  • long-term depression
  • long-term potentiation
  • protein synthesis
  • translation initiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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