Protein clumps like a prion, but proves crucial for long-term memory
Study in slugs hints that some molecular 'misbehavior' is for the good
By Tina Hesman Saey, 17:30 PM February 4, 2010
Sea slugs make memories with a twist. Screwing a normal nerve cell protein into a distorted shape helps slugs, and possibly people, lock in memories, new research shows.
Notably, the shape change also brings a shift in the protein’s behavior, leading it to form clumps. That kind of behavior is the sort seen in prions, the misshapen, infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease, scrapie and other disorders (SN: 7/31/04, p. 67). But the new study, published February 5 in Cell, shows a poss...
Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/protein-clumps-prion-proves-crucial-long-term-memory