Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.533, No.4, 1309-1314, 2020
Wip1 phosphatase deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory
Spatial learning and memory are typically assessed to evaluate hippocampus-dependent cognitive and memory functions in vivo. Protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation by kinases and phosphatases play critical roles in spatial learning and memory. Here we report that the Wip1 phosphatase is essential for spatial learning, with knockout mice lacking Wip1 phosphatase exhibiting dysfunctional spatial cognition. Aberrant phosphorylation of the Wip1 substrates p38, ATM, and p53 were observed in the hippocampi of Wip1(-/-) mice, but only p38 inhibition reversed impairments in long-term potentiation in Wip1-knockout mice. p38 inhibition consistently ameliorated the spatial learning dysfunction caused by Wip1 deficiency. Our results demonstrate that deletion of Wip1 phosphatase impairs hippocampusdependent spatial learning and memory, with aberrant downstream p38 phosphorylation involved in this process and providing a potential therapeutic target. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.