Editors' ChoiceSynaptic Plasticity

Memory consolidation by gene suppression

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Sci. Signal.  06 Oct 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 397, pp. ec288
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad5681

Storing a persistent memory in the brain involves dynamic gene regulation. However, our knowledge of the target genes controlled during memory formation is limited. Cho et al. used RNA sequencing and ribosome profiling to compare transcription and translational levels in the mouse hippocampus before and after memory formation. Under basal conditions, there was an unexpected translational repression of ribosomal protein-coding genes. Early after learning, specific genes were translationally repressed. Later, suppression of a group of genes resulted from the inhibition of estrogen receptor α signaling. Thus, suppression mechanisms in the hippocampus appear to play a major role during memory consolidation.

J. Cho, N.-K. Yu, J.-H. Choi, S.-E. Sim, S. J. Kang, C. Kwak, S.-W. Lee, J.-i. Kim, D. I. Choi, V. N. Kim, B.-K. Kaang, Multiple repressive mechanisms in the hippocampus during memory formation. Science 350, 82–87 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]