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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 8;105(27):9391-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0802679105. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

MEF2C, a transcription factor that facilitates learning and memory by negative regulation of synapse numbers and function.

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1
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9148, USA.

Abstract

Learning and memory depend on the activity-dependent structural plasticity of synapses and changes in neuronal gene expression. We show that deletion of the MEF2C transcription factor in the CNS of mice impairs hippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Unexpectedly, these behavioral changes were accompanied by a marked increase in the number of excitatory synapses and potentiation of basal and evoked synaptic transmission. Conversely, neuronal expression of a superactivating form of MEF2C results in a reduction of excitatory postsynaptic sites without affecting learning and memory performance. We conclude that MEF2C limits excessive synapse formation during activity-dependent refinement of synaptic connectivity and thus facilitates hippocampal-dependent learning and memory.

PMID:
18599438
PMCID:
PMC2453723
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0802679105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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