Latest Protein Spotlight: Tenacious memory

We need to remember. Yet there are things we would like to forget. They just hang on in there regardless of feeling and time. What is it that keeps a memory alive inside us? What is it that makes a sort of indelible imprint on our brain while other memories slip away?

We probably imagine memory as something with a fuzzy border that is impossible to grasp - a little like a piece of cloud. In the past years, however, scientists have demonstrated that our ability to remember things in a lasting fashion is in the hands of several biological molecules that are found in the hippocampus, the part of our brain where memories are formed. When a memory stirs and is chosen to be long-lasting, new proteins are synthesized and synaptic connections begin to grow. One molecule that is proving to have a central role in this process is a protein known as CPE-binding protein 3, or CPEB3 - a protein which, surprisingly, also has prion-like properties. More