Targeted deletion of CASK-interacting nucleosome assembly protein causes higher locomotor and exploratory activities

Neurosignals. 2011;19(3):128-41. doi: 10.1159/000327819. Epub 2011 May 13.


CASK-interacting nucleosome assembly protein (CINAP) has been shown to interact with the calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine kinase (CASK) and the T-box transcription factor T-brain-1 (Tbr1) thus modulating the expression of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor subunit 2b (NMDAR2b) in cultured hippocampal neurons. To explore the physiological significance of CINAP in vivo, CINAP knockout mice were generated and subjected to biochemical, anatomical, and behavioral analyses. Unexpectedly, CINAP deletion did not impact NMDAR2b expression, and these CINAP knockout mice were consistently comparable to wild-type littermates in terms of immediate memory (assessed with the Y maze) and associative memory (evaluated by conditioned taste aversion and contextual and auditory fear conditioning). Although CINAP deletion did not obviously influence learning and memory behaviors, CINAP knockout mice exhibited higher locomotor and exploratory activities. Compared with wild-type littermates, the horizontal and vertical movements of the CINAP knockout mice were higher in a novel environment; in home cages, rearing, sniffing, and jumping also occurred more frequently in CINAP knockout mice. These observations suggest that although CINAP deletion in mice does not influence learning and memory behaviors, CINAP is required for restriction of locomotor and exploratory activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / embryology
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology
  • Exploratory Behavior / physiology*
  • Fear / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Locomotion / genetics*
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / deficiency*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / deficiency*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / genetics
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology
  • Sequence Deletion / genetics*
  • Taste / genetics


  • CINAP protein, mouse
  • NR2B NMDA receptor
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate