Genes to remember

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


It has been known for several decades that the formation of long-term memory requires gene expression. In recent years, the use of genetic and molecular approaches has led to the identification and characterization of genes and molecules that play a fundamental role in the biological mechanisms underlying learning and memory. From these studies, it appears that molecules and molecular mechanisms essential for the process of memory have been conserved throughout evolution. The cyclic AMP (cAMP)dependent activation pathway and a cAMP-dependent cascade of gene expression have been shown to be essential for memory formation in Aplysia californica, Drosophila melanogaster and rodents. Moreover, members of the transcription factor family cAMP response element binding proteins (CREBs) seem to represent key molecules for transforming incoming information into long-term memory. Here, we review the studies showing that conserved molecules and biological mechanisms are engaged in simple and complex forms of memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2887-2891
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1999


  • CREB
  • Gene
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Transcription factor
  • cAMP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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