Cdk5 has been demonstrated to be one of the most diversely functional kinases within neurons. It is unsurprising then that recent advances implicate Cdk5 in synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory. In this chapter, we summarize the data that reveal the involvement of Cdk5 in mnemonic processes on molecular as well as cellular levels and relate these findings to its emerging function in learning and memory. From amongst the impressive range of candidate mechanisms by which Cdk5 might influence mnemonic processes, we pay particular attention to mechanisms with well-established function in both, synaptic plasticity, and learning and memory, including NMDA receptor modulation, transcriptional regulation and organization of synaptic structures. We aim to show that Cdk5 is uniquely placed amongst kinases to orchestrate the multi-level processes inherent in learning and memory owing to its integral role in many neuronal functions.
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