Calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II and memory destabilization: a new role in memory maintenance

J Neurochem. 2018 Oct;147(1):12-23. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14454. Epub 2018 Jun 27.


In this review, we discuss the poorly explored role of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in memory maintenance, and its influence on memory destabilization. After a brief review on CaMKII and memory destabilization, we present critical pieces of evidence suggesting that CaMKII activity increases retrieval-induced memory destabilization. We then proceed to propose two potential molecular pathways to explain the association between CaMKII activation and increased memory destabilization. This review will pinpoint gaps in our knowledge and discuss some 'controversial' observations, establishing the basis for new experiments on the role of CaMKII in memory reconsolidation. The role of CaMKII in memory destabilization is of great clinical relevance. Still, because of the lack of scientific literature on the subject, more basic science research is necessary to pursue this pathway as a clinical tool.

Keywords: calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II; reconsolidation; synaptic signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / genetics*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory Disorders / enzymology*
  • Memory Disorders / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2