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Front. Mol. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00361

ERK1/2: a key cellular component for the formation, retrieval, reconsolidation, and persistence of memory.

 Jorge H. Medina1, 2* and Haydee A. Viola2
  • 1Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2CONICET Instituto de Biologia Celular y Neurociencia (IBCN), Argentina

Extracellular regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) has been strongly implicated in several cellular processes. In the brain ERK1/2 activity has been primarily involved in long-term memory formation and expression. Here, we review earlier evidence and describe recent developments of ERK1/2 signaling in memory processing focusing the attention on the role of ERK1/2 in memory retrieval and reconsolidation, and in the maintenance of the memory trace including mechanisms involving the protection of labile memories. In addition, relearning requires ERK1/2 activity in selected brain regions. Its involvement in distinct memory stages points at ERK1/2 as a core element in memory processing and as one likely target to treat memory impairments associated with neurological disorders including Alzheimer´s disease.

Keywords: ERK1/2, Long-term memory, retrieval, extinction, memory durability

Received: 21 Jun 2018; Accepted: 12 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Ramiro A. Freudenthal, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina

Reviewed by:

Antoine Besnard, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, United States
Ana M. Oliveira, Universität Heidelberg, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Medina and Viola. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jorge H. Medina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, jmedina@fmed.uba.ar