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Hippocampus. 2012 Mar;22(3):631-42. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20926. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Distinctive features of Egr transcription factor regulation and DNA binding activity in CA1 of the hippocampus in synaptic plasticity and consolidation and reconsolidation of fear memory.

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CNRS, Centre de Neurosciences Paris-Sud, UMR 8195, Orsay, F-91405, France.


Activity-dependent regulation of Egr1/Zif268, a transcription factor (TF) of the Egr family, is essential for stabilization of dentate gyrus synaptic plasticity and consolidation and reconsolidation of several forms of memory. The gene can be rapidly induced in selective brain circuits after certain types of learning or after recall. Here, we focused on area CA1 and examined regulation of Egr1, Egr2, and Egr3 mRNA and protein, and their DNA binding activity to the Egr response element (ERE) at different times after LTP in vivo and after learning and recall of a fear memory. We found LTP in CA1 leads to rapid induction of the three Egrs, however only Egr1 protein was overexpressed without a co-ordinated change in binding activity, indicating a fundamental difference between CA1 and dentate gyrus LTP. Our investigations in fear memory reveal that both learning and retrieval lead to an increase in binding of constitutively expressed Egr1 and Egr3 to the ERE, but not Egr2. Memory recall was also associated with increased Egr1 protein translation. The nature and temporal dynamics of these changes and tests for interactions between TFs suggest that in addition to ERE-mediated transcription, Egr1 in CA1 may interact with the TF c-Fos to regulate genes via other DNA response elements.

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