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Projects. Life and Earth Sciences

Role of epigenetic mechanisms in the processes of learning and memory

Lead Researcher: 
Ángel Manuel Carrión Rodríguez

Research Centre:
Faculty of Experimental Sciences. Pablo de Olavide University. Sevilla.

Synopsis:
Ángel CarriónEpigenetic mechanisms are more or less permanent changes in chromatin that do not affect the genetic code, but determine when, how and where a protein is expressed. Recently it has been reported that epigenetic factors, DNA and histone methylation and histone acetylation are necessary for the establishment of lasting memories. The research focuses on learning about the role of poly-ADP-ribosylation of histone H1 and the interrelationship of the poly-ADP-ribosylation with other epigenetic factors in the establishment of lasting memories in the nervous system.

SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION   

5 articles published in Journals 
3 papers at national conferences
7 papers at international conferences
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Ángel Manuel Carrión Rodríguez 
In 1992 I graduated from the Faculty of Biology, University of Seville. Later that same year I joined the research group led by Dr. Naranjo Orovio at the Santiago Ramón y Cajal Institute of Neurobiology, where I produced my doctoral thesis investigating the molecular mechanisms associated with the expression of the prodynorphin gene. During this period I cloned a new transcription factor, the DREAM protein, capable of detecting changes in intranuclear calcium concentrations and thus of regulating the transcription of their target genes in a calcium-dependent manner. This discovery was published in the journal Nature. In 2000, I joined the Division of Neuroscience led by Dr. Delgado García at Pablo de Olavide University. Since then, I have been interested in delving into the molecular mechanisms underlying various physiological processes, with an emphasis on nociception, learning and memory. From our studies over the last five years, I would like to emphasise the one describing the role of the DREAM protein as a regulator of the processes of learning and memory, and the ageing of the nervous system. This research, published in Current Biology, presents the DREAM protein as a new potential therapeutic target to improve learning and memory, and possibly to delay the cognitive deficits that organisms present as they age.  

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