Author(s): Michael D, Martin KC, Seger R, Ning MM, Baston R,
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Abstract Long-term facilitation of the connections between the sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia requires five repeated pulses of serotonin (5-HT). The repeated pulses of 5-HT initiate a cascade of gene activation that leads ultimately to the growth of new synaptic connections. Several genes in this process have been identified, including the transcriptional regulators apCREB-1, apCREB-2, apC/EBP, and the cell adhesion molecule apCAM, which is thought to be involved in the formation of new synaptic connections. Here we report that the transcriptional regulators apCREB-2 and apC/EBP, as well as a peptide derived from the cytoplasmic domain of apCAM, are phosphorylated in vitro by Aplysia mitogen-activated protein kinase (apMAPK). We have cloned the cDNA encoding apMAPK and show that apMAPK activity is increased in sensory neurons treated with repeated pulses of 5-HT and by the cAMP pathway. These results suggest that apMAPK may participate with cAMP-dependent protein kinase during long-term facilitation in sensory cells by modifying some of the key elements involved in the consolidation of short- to long-lasting changes in synaptic strength.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation