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Learn Mem. 2007 Aug 29;14(9):564-72. Print 2007 Sep.

Transgenic mice expressing an inhibitory truncated form of p300 exhibit long-term memory deficits.

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Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.


The formation of many forms of long-term memory requires several molecular mechanisms including regulation of gene expression. The mechanisms directing transcription require not only activation of individual transcription factors but also recruitment of transcriptional coactivators. CBP and p300 are transcriptional coactivators that interact with a large number of transcription factors and regulate transcription through multiple mechanisms, including an intrinsic histone acetyltransferase (HAT) activity. HAT activity mediates acetylation of lysine residues on the amino-terminal tails of histone proteins, thereby increasing DNA accessibility for transcription factors to activate gene expression. CBP has been shown to play an important role in long-term memory formation. We have investigated whether p300 is also required for certain forms of memory. p300 shares a high degree of homology with CBP and has been shown to interact with transcription factors known to be critical for long-term memory formation. Here we demonstrate that conditional transgenic mice expressing an inhibitory truncated form of p300 (p300Delta1), which lacks the carboxy-terminal HAT and activation domains, have impaired long-term recognition memory and contextual fear memory. Thus, our study demonstrates that p300 is required for certain forms of memory and that the HAT and carboxy-terminal domains play a critical role.

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