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New paper on the role of Notch signaling in memory


It is well-known that the Notch signaling plays a critical role in brain development, and growing evidence implicates this pathway in synaptic plasticity and memory formation in the adult. In this paper, our lab (in a team headed by Derya Sargin) collaborated with Sean Egan’s lab at SickKids, and showed that a critical ligand of the highly conserved Notch signalling pathway, Jagged 1 (Jag1), is important for hippocampus-dependent memory formation in adult mice. By making use of different lines of mutant mice which are deficient in specific components of the Notch pathway, Derya et al. systematically dissected the relative contributions of several members of the Notch pathway and found a highly specific role for Jag1 in memory formation in adult mice. Derya’s  work is in line with recent studies showing that Notch is an essential component of spatial memory formation (Costa et al, Curr Biol, 2003) and that Jag1 is important for hippocampal synaptic plasticity (Wang et al., PNAS, 2004; Alberi et al., Neuron, 2011).  Derya’s findings confirm that the Jag1-Notch signalling pathway is critical for hippocampus-dependent memory in the adult brain.   This paper is part of a special issue on Molecular and Cellular Cognition in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.


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