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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 525–533 | Cite as

The role of Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulable adenylyl cyclases as molecular coincidence detectors in memory formation

  • N. Mons
  • J.-L. Guillou
  • R. Jaffard

Abstract.

Evidence from systems as diverse as mollusks, insects and mammals has revealed that adenylyl cyclase, cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) cascade, cAMP-dependent protein kinases and their substrates are required for the cellular events underlying the short-term and long-term forms of memory. In Aplysia and Drosophila models, the coincident activation of independent paths converge to produce a synergistic activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulable adenylyl cyclase, thereby enhancing the cAMP level that appears as the primary mediator of downstream events that strengthen enduring memory. In mammals, in which long-term memories require hippocampal function, our understanding of the role of adenylyl cyclases is still fragmentary. Of the differently regulated isoforms present in the hippocampus, the susceptibility of type 1 and type 8 to stimulation by the complex Ca2+/calmodulin and their expression in the hippocampus suggest a role for these two isoforms as a molecular coincidence device for hippocampus-related memory function. Here, we review the key features of Ca2+/calmodulin stimulable adenylyl cyclases, as well as the involvement of cAMP-regulated signaling pathway in the processes of learning and memory.

Key words. Memory; adenylyl cyclase; cAMP; calcium; calmodulin; cellular signaling. 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel, 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Mons
    • 1
  • J.-L. Guillou
    • 1
  • R. Jaffard
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Neurosciences Comportementales et Cognitives, UMR 5807, Université de Bordeaux 1, Avenue des Facultés, F-33405 Talence Cedex (France), Fax +33 556 84 87 43, e-mail: mons@neurocog.u-bordeaux.frFR

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