Possible role of intramembrane receptor-receptor interactions in memory and learning via formation of long-lived heteromeric complexes: focus on motor learning in the basal ganglia
ABSTRACT Learning in neuronal networks occurs by instructions to the neurons to change their synaptic weights (i.e., efficacies). According to the present model a molecular mechanism that can contribute to change synaptic weights may be represented by multiple interactions between membrane receptors forming aggregates (receptor mosaics) via oligomerization at both pre- and post-synaptic level. These assemblies of receptors together with inter alia single receptors, adapter proteins, G-proteins and ion channels form the membrane bound part of a complex three-dimensional (3D) molecular circuit, the cytoplasmic part of which consists especially of protein kinases, protein phosphatases and phosphoproteins. It is suggested that this molecular circuit has the capability to learn and store information. Thus, engram formation will depend on the resetting of 3D molecular circuits via the formation of new receptor mosaics capable of addressing the transduction of the chemical messages impinging on the cell membrane to certain sets of G-proteins. Short-term memory occurs by a transient stabilization of the receptor mosaics producing the appropriate change in the synaptic weight. Engram consolidation (long-term memory) may involve intracellular signals that translocate to the nucleus to cause the activation of immediate early genes and subsequent formation of postulated adapter proteins which stabilize the receptor mosaics with the formation of long-lived heteromeric receptor complexes. The receptor mosaic hypothesis of the engram formation has been formulated in agreement with the Hebbian rule and gives a novel molecular basis for it by postulating that the pre-synaptic activity change in transmitter and modulator release reorganizes the receptor mosaics at post-synaptic level and subsequently at pre-synaptic level with the formation of novel 3D molecular circuits leading to a different integration of chemical signals impinging on pre- and post-synaptic membranes hence leading to a new value of the synaptic weight. Engram retrieval is brought about by the scanning of the target networks by the highly divergent arousal systems. Hence, a continuous reverberating process occurs both at the level of the neural networks as well as at the level of the 3D molecular circuits within each neuron of the network until the appropriate tuning of the synaptic weights is obtained and, subsequently, the reappearance of the engram occurs. Learning and memory in the basal ganglia is discussed in the frame of the present hypothesis. It is proposed that formation of long-term memories (consolidated receptor mosaics) in the plasma membranes of the striosomal GABA neurons may play a major role in the motivational learning of motor skills of relevance for survival. In conclusion, long-lived heteromeric receptor complexes of high order may be crucial for learning, memory and retrieval processes, where extensive reciprocal feedback loops give rise to coherent synchronized neural activity (binding) essential for a sophisticated information handling by the central nervous system.
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ABSTRACT: Based on our theory, we have discovered main triplets of amino acid residues in cell-adhesion receptors of marine sponges, which appear also as homologies in several receptor heteromers of human brain. The obtained results strengthen our hypothesis that these triplets may "guide-and-clasp" receptor-receptor interactions.Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 05/2012; 48(1):154-60. DOI:10.1007/s12031-012-9793-6 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Some theoretical aspects on structure and function of proteins have been discussed previously. Proteins form multimeric complexes, as they have the capability of binding other proteins (Lego property) resulting in multimeric complexes capable of emergent functions. Multimeric proteins might have either a genomic or a postgenomic origin. Proteins spanning the plasma membrane have been analyzed by considering the effects of the microenvironment in which the protein is embedded. In particular, the different effects of the hydrophilic (extracellular and intracellular) versus the lipophilic (intramembrane) environment have been considered. These aspects have been discussed in the framework of membrane microdomains, in particular, the so-called rafts. In alpha-helix proteins the individual peptide dipoles align to produce a macrodipole crossing the entire membrane. This macrodipole has its positive (extracellular) pole at the N-terminal end of the helix and its negative (intracellular) pole at the C-terminal end. This arrangement has been analyzed in the framework of the counter-ion atmosphere, that is, the formation of a cloud of small ions bearing an opposite charge. Excitable cells reverse their resting potential during the all-or-none action potentials. Hence, the extracellular side of the plasma membrane becomes negative with respect to the intracellular side. This change of polarization affects also the direction and magnitude of the alpha-helix dipole in view of the fact that there is a displacement of the counter ions. The oscillation in the intensity of the dipole caused by the action potentials opens the possibility of an interaction among dipoles by electromagnetic waves.Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 02/2005; 26(2-3):133-54. DOI:10.1385/JMN:26:2-3:133 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The intercalated cell masses are GABAergic neurons interposed between the major input and output structures of the amygdala. Dopaminergic projections to the main and paracapsular intercalated islands were examined by determining the relationship of the dopamine nerve-terminal networks to the D1-receptor immunoreactive staining of cells within the intercalated islands, using double-fluorescence immunolabelling procedures in combination with confocal laser microscopy. The relationship of terminals positive for both tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine beta-hydroxylase (noradrenaline and/or adrenaline) to terminals positive for tyrosine hydroxylase but negative for dopamine beta-hydroxylase (dopamine terminals) was studied in relation to the D1-receptor immunoreactivity in adjacent sections at various rostrocaudal levels. The microscopy and image analysis revealed that there was only a minor dopaminergic innervation of the D1 receptor-immunoreactive cells in the rostromedial and caudal component of the main intercalated island, suggesting volume transmission as the main communication mode for dopamine in these regions. In contrast, the D1 receptor-immunoreactive areas in the rostrolateral part of the main island and also the paracapsular intercalated islands showed a high degree of dopaminergic innervation, indicating that synaptic and perisynaptic dopamine transmission plays a dominant role in these regions. It is known that amygdala neurons are involved in the elicitation and learning of fear-related behaviors. We suggest that slow dopaminergic volume transmission in the rostromedial and caudal parts of the main intercalated island may have a role in tonic excitatory modulation in these parts of the main island, allowing GABAergic activity to develop in the central amygdaloid nucleus and thereby contributing to inhibition of fear-related behavioral and autonomic responses. In contrast, a faster synaptic and perisynaptic dopaminergic transmission in the rostrolateral part of the main intercalated island and in the paracapsular intercalated islands may have a role in allowing a more rapid elicitation of fear-related behaviors.Neuroscience 02/2003; 119(3):733-46. DOI:10.1016/S0306-4522(03)00148-9 · 3.33 Impact Factor