Behavioural brain research

Networks of protein kinases and phosphatases in the individual phases of contextual fear conditioning in the C57BL/6J mouse.

PMID 25461266


Although protein kinases and phosphatases have been reported to be involved in fear memory, information about these signalling molecules in the individual phases of contextual fear conditioning (cFC) is limited. C57BL/6J mice were tested in cFC, sacrificed and hippocampi were used for screening of approximately 800 protein kinases and phosphatases by protein microarrays with subsequent Western blot confirmation of threefold higher or lower hippocampal levels as compared to foot shock controls. Immunoblotting of the protein kinases and phosphatases screened out was carried out by Western blotting. A network of protein kinases and phosphatases was generated (STRING 9.1). Animals learned the task in the paradigm and protein kinase and phosphatase levels were determined in the individual phases acquisition, consolidation and retrieval and compared to foot shock controls. Protein kinases discoidin containing receptor 2 (DDR2), mitogen activated protein kinase kinase kinase 7 (TAK1), protein phosphatases dual specificity protein phosphatase (PTEN) and protein phosphatase 2a (PP2A) were modulated in the individual phases of cFC. Phosphatidyl-inositol-3,4,5-triphosphate 3-phosphatase and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) that is interacting with PTEN were modulated as well. Freezing time was correlating with PP2A levels in the retrieval phase of cFC. The abovementioned protein kinases, phosphatases and inositol-signalling enzymes were not reported so far in cFC and the results are relevant for interpretation of previous and design of future studies in cFC or fear memory. Protein phosphatase PP2A was, however, the only signalling compound tested that was directly linked to retrieval in the cFC.