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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of the immediate-early gene-encoded protein Egr-1 (zif268) during in vitro classical conditioning.

Expression of the immediate-early genes (IEGs) has been shown to be induced by activity-dependent synaptic plasticity or behavioral training and is thought to play an important role in long-term memory. In the present study, we examined the induction and expression of the IEG-encoded protein Egr-1 during an in vitro neural correlate of eyeblink classical conditioning. The results showed that Egr-1 protein expression as determined by immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis rapidly increased during the early stages of conditioning and remained elevated during the later stages. Further, expression of Egr-1 protein required NMDA receptor activation as it was blocked by bath application of AP-5. These findings suggest that the IEG-encoded proteins such as Egr-1 are activated during relatively simple forms of learning in vertebrates. In this case, Egr-1 may have a functional role in the acquisition phase of conditioning as well as in maintaining expression of conditioned responses.[1]


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