Temporal-spatial expression and novel biochemical properties of the memory-related protein KIBRA

Neuroscience. 2008 Sep 9;155(4):1165-73. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.06.054. Epub 2008 Jul 3.


The ability of the mammalian brain to store and recall information is based on synaptic plasticity due to constant remodeling of synaptic contacts. Although various classes of proteins such as neurotransmitter receptors, cytoskeletal components and protein kinases were already identified as modulators of memory formation, their specific interactions and crosstalks are still poorly understood. Genetic variants of the scaffolding protein KIBRA (kidney brain) a substrate of the memory-related protein kinase C zeta and component of the neuronal cytoskeleton, were recently shown to be associated with human memory performance. However, the function of KIBRA on the cellular and physiological level is still unclear. To gain more insights into the temporal and spatial expression of KIBRA, we performed in situ hybridization assays and immunohistological staining of human and rodent (rat) brain. Our data demonstrate that KIBRA is mainly expressed in memory-related regions of the brain (hippocampus, cortex) but is also found in the cerebellum and the hypothalamus. In primary hippocampal neurons, KIBRA displays a somatodendritic distribution and an enrichment at the postsynaptic density. Binding studies further show that KIBRA is able to form head-to-tail homodimers and that dimerization is mediated by the internal C2-like domain. Our data indicate that KIBRA is involved in brain development and memory formation as a postsynaptic scaffold protein connecting cytoskeletal and signaling molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Gene Expression / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Transfection
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • PSD protein, human
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • WWC1 protein, human