Science Signaling Podcast: 23 June 2015

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Sci. Signal.  23 Jun 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 382, pp. pc15
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac6926

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This Podcast features an interview with David Sweatt and John Hablitz, senior authors of a Research Article that appears in the 23 June 2015 issue of Science Signaling, about the role of DNA methylation in synaptic plasticity. Making and recalling memories relies on synaptic plasticity, a collective term for changes in neuronal morphology or function that affect communication between neurons. Meadows et al. found that methylation of DNA was important for scaling of glutamatergic synapses, a type of synaptic plasticity, in cultured rat neurons. DNA methylation status controlled the expression of genes involved in glutamate signaling during multiplicative synaptic upscaling, a phenomenon in which receptor density increases simultaneously in each of a neuron's synapses. These findings illustrate that epigenetic mechanisms can coordinate cell-wide changes in synaptic function.

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