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Science 304 (5678): 1820-1822

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Long-Term Memory Requires PolyADP-ribosylation

Malka Cohen-Armon,1* Leonid Visochek,1 Ayelet Katzoff,2 David Levitan,1,2 Abraham J. Susswein,2 Rodika Klein,1 Mireille Valbrun,3 James H. Schwartz3*

Abstract: PolyADP-ribose-polymerase 1 is activated in neurons that mediate several forms of long-term memory in Aplysia. Because polyADP-ribosylation of nuclear proteins is a response to DNA damage in virtually all eukaryotic cells, it is surprising that activation of the polymerase occurs during learning and is required for long-term memory. We suggest that fast and transient decondensation of chromatin structure by polyADP-ribosylation enables the transcription needed to form long-term memory without strand breaks in DNA.

1 The Neufeld Cardiac Research Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel.
2 Faculty of Life Sciences, Gonda [Goldschmied] Medical Diagnostic Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.
3 Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: marmon{at}post.tau.ac.il (M.C.A.); jhs6{at}columbia.edu (J.H.S.)


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