MARCKS and protein F1/GAP-43 mRNA in chick brain: Effects of imprinting

Peter J. Meberg, Brian J. McCabe, Aryeh Routtenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The phosphorylation of MARCKS, but not protein F1/GAP-43, is increased in the intermediate and medial portion of the hyperstriatum ventrale (IMHV) after chick imprinting. Here we investigated if MARCKS, but not F1/GAP-43, gene expression would also be altered after imprinting. We first investigated the constitutive mRNA distribution of MARCKS and F1/GAP-43 in chick brain. MARCKS mRNA was expressed in most cells and exhibited a relatively homogeneous distribution. In contrast, F1/GAP-43 mRNA levels were elevated in discrete brain regions, as we had observed in mammals. The highest F1/GAP-43 mRNA levels in the chick brain were in sensory and associational structures such as the hyperstriatal complex and neostriatum, and lower levels were in structures involved in motor control, such as paleostriatum. These results in chick are consistent with the previously drawn generalization that F1/GAP-43 mRNA is expressed in those brain regions which exhibit synaptic plasticity. After imprinting, MARCKS mRNA levels in IMHV were higher in good learners than poor learners. In contrast, analysis of F1/GAP-43 mRNA levels revealed no differences related to training in any brain region sampled. These selective results for MARCKS but not F1/GAP-43 parallel the prior findings on their phosphorylation, and are consistent with our hypothesis that the very same proteins that are post-translationally modified in association with learning and memory also undergo alterations in their gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Brain Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1996


  • GAP-43
  • IMHV
  • Imprinting
  • Learning
  • Protein F1
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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