Learning is an essential function of the nervous system. However, our understanding of molecular underpinnings of learning remains incomplete. Here, we characterize a conserved protein EOL-1 that regulates olfactory learning in Caenorhabditis elegans. A recessive allele of eol-1 (enhanced olfactory learning) learns better to adjust its olfactory preference for bacteria foods and eol-1 acts in the URX sensory neurons to regulate learning. The mammalian homolog of EOL-1, Dom3Z, which regulates quality control of pre-mRNAs, can substitute the function of EOL-1 in learning regulation, demonstrating functional conservation between these homologs. Mutating the residues of Dom3Z that are critical for its enzymatic activity, and the equivalent residues in EOL-1, abolishes the function of these proteins in learning. Together, our results provide insights into the function of EOL-1/Dom3Z and suggest that its activity in pre-mRNA quality control is involved in neural plasticity.