Peter Serrano

HomeFacultyPeter Serrano
HomeFacultyPeter Serrano

Dr. Serrano’s lab studies how various signaling pathways are affected by stress, fear, developmental insults, pharmacological challenges, neural stimulation and cognition. There are 3 projects that reflect these long-standing interests: 1) Long-Term Potentiation, Long-Term Depression and Memory. Here, Dr. Serrano’s lab analyzes the effects of various pharmacological and biochemical manipulations to isolate key neural functions important for maintaining LTP and LTD. 2) Developmental Psychobiology and Developmental Learning Disorders. Here, Dr. Serrano investigates how highly regulated and influential developmentally regulated proteins affect synaptic plasticity and ultimately cognition. Using various environmental, electrophysiological and pharmacological challenges, his lab identifies the critical time windows when the brain is most susceptible to damage or trauma. These experiments provide a functional understanding of brain development that is important for advancing treatment of developmental brain disorders. 3) Neural Mechanisms of Stress, Fear and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The central hypothesis of this project is that elevated levels of fear, anxiety and stress alter various proteins affecting cognitive function. Given PKMz’s fundamental role in the retention of long-term memories, Dr. Serrano’s lab examines PKMz’s function in PTSD genesis using a rodent model based on predatory scent stress. The objective is to ultimately develop better and more effective treatment regimens for PTSD.

Representative Publications

  • Serrano PA, Friedman EL, Kenney J, Taubenfeld SM, Zimmerman JM, Hanna J, Alberini C, Kelley AE, Maren S, Yin JCP, Sacktor TC, Fenton AA. (2008) PKMz maintains spatial, instrumental, and classically-conditioned long-term memory. PLoS in press.
  • Yao Y, Kelly MT, Sakimura S, Serrano PA, Tian D, Bergold P, Frey J, Sacktor TC. (2008) PKMz maintains late-LTP by enhancing NSF/GluR2-mediated trafficking of postsynaptic AMPARs. Journal of Neuroscience 28, 7820-7.
  • Schrott LM, Franklin LT & Serrano PA. (2008) Acquisition of radial arm maze is impaired following prenatal opiate exposure potential role of brain derived neurotrophic factor. Brain Research, 1198, 132-140.
  • *Pastalkova E, *Serrano PA, Pinkhasova D, Wallace E, Fenton A & Sacktor TC (2006) Spatial information storage by the maintenance mechanism of LTP. Science, 313, 1141-1144. *authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Cracco J, Serrano PA, Moskowiz SI, Bergold PJ & Sacktor TC (2005) Protein synthesis-dependent LTP in isolated dendrites of CA1 pyramidal cells. Hippocampus, 15, 551-556.
  • Serrano PA, Yao Y & Sacktor TC (2005) Persistent phosphorylation by protein kinase Mz maintains late phase long-term potentiation. Journal of Neuroscience 25, 1979-1984.
  • Hernandez IA, Blace N, Crary JF, Serrano PA, Leitges M, Libien J, Weinstein G, Tcherepanov A, & Sacktor TC (2003) PKMz synthesis from a brain mRNA encoding an independent PKCz catalytic domain: implications for the molecular mechanism of memory. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278, 40305-40316.
  • Ling, DS, Benard LS, Serrano PA, Blace N, Kelly MT, Crary JF & Sacktor T C (2002) Persistently active protein kinase M-z is both necessary and sufficient for maintaining long-term potentiation. Nature Neuroscience 5, 295-6.