Structural neurobiology
Synaptic protein structure

Structure of the memory regulator Arc

The post-synaptic protein Arc has been termed a master regulator of memory. In line with its homology to certain viral proteins, it has also been shown recently to form virus-like capsids. We have elucidated for the first time the 3D structure of full-length monomeric Arc.

Petri Kursula

Main content

The activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) is a regulator of memory-related events at synapses. It is known to present various oligomeric forms and to interact with several post-synaptic proteins. We developed a protocol to produce monomeric full-length Arc in quantities suitable for structural studies, and by a combination of structural biology and biophysics techniques, we have obtained the first glimpse into the three-dimensional structure of full-length Arc. Arc presents itself as an elongated, but compact, molecule. Our structural data are crucial in understanding the molecular mechanisms of Arc function at synapses. 

Hallin E.I., Eriksen M.S., Baryshnikov S., Nikolaienko O., Grødem S., Hosokawa T., Hayashi Y., Bramham C.R. & Kursula P. (2018) Structure of monomeric full-length ARC sheds light on molecular flexibility, protein interactions, and functional modalities. J. Neurochem., in press.