The kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) play essential roles in receptor transportation along the microtubules. KIF17 transports the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor NR2B subunit in vitro, but its role in vivo is unknown. To clarify this role, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing KIF17 tagged with GFP. The KIF17 transgenic mice exhibited enhanced learning and memory in a series of behavioral tasks, up-regulated NR2B expression with the potential involvement of a transcriptional factor, the cAMP-dependent response element-binding protein, and increased phosphorylation of the cAMP-dependent response element-binding protein. Our results suggest that the motor protein KIF17 contributes to neuronal events required for learning and memory by trafficking fundamental N-methyl-d-aspartate-type glutamate receptors.
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