Paul Worley MD

Professor of Neuroscience
Telephone Number: 410-502-5489
Fax Number: 410-614-6249

The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
725 North Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: PCTB 902
Areas of Research
Systems, Cognitive + Computational Neuroscience
Neural Circuits, Ensembles + Connectomes
Cellular + Molecular Neuroscience

Graduate Program Affiliations

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program

Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Neuroscience Training Program

Visual Neuroscience Training Program

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    Arc is an immediate early gene involved in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Arc mRNA is rapidly transcribed and targeted to dendrites of neurons as they engage in information processing and storage. Arc protein induction is required for both late-phase LTP and spatial learning. Despite these intriguing associations with plasticity, Arc’s function remains enigmatic. Our lab has recently found that Arc regulates AMPA receptor trafficking by interacting with the endocytic machinery. These observations provide a molecular basis for understanding Arc’s function, and suggest a model in which dendritically localized Arc protein synthesis can modulate synaptic properties. The picture above shows Arc(red) and bassoon (green)staining in a 4 week old Hippocampal Neuron. Arc co-localizes with bassoon, which is a presynaptic marker.

Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Plasticity

Paul Worley’s laboratory examines the molecular basis of learning and memory. In particular, his laboratory has cloned a set of immediate early genes (IEGs) that are rapidly transcribed in neurons involved in information processing, and that are essential for long term memory. IEG proteins can directly modify synapses and provide insight into cellular mechanisms that support synapse-specific plasticity. For example, Narp is secreted and induces excitatory synapse formation. Homer catalyzes conformational coupling of multi-protein machines involved in calcium signaling. Rheb regulates mTor (target of rapamycin) and protein translation. Arc induces the formation of endosomes that function in trafficking of glutamate receptors. Thus, rapid de novo transcription provides novel insights into the cellular and neural network basis of behavioral plasticity.

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