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Cell. 2002 Nov 15;111(4):483-93.

Integration of long-term-memory-related synaptic plasticity involves bidirectional regulation of gene expression and chromatin structure.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Excitatory and inhibitory inputs converge on single neurons and are integrated into a coherent output. Although much is known about short-term integration, little is known about how neurons sum opposing signals for long-term synaptic plasticity and memory storage. In Aplysia, we find that when a sensory neuron simultaneously receives inputs from the facilitatory transmitter 5-HT at one set of synapses and the inhibitory transmitter FMRFamide at another, long-term facilitation is blocked and synapse-specific long-term depression dominates. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that 5-HT induces the downstream gene C/EBP by activating CREB1, which recruits CBP for histone acetylation, whereas FMRFa leads to CREB1 displacement by CREB2 and recruitment of HDAC5 to deacetylate histones. When the two transmitters are applied together, facilitation is blocked because CREB2 and HDAC5 displace CREB1-CBP, thereby deacetylating histones.

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