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Cell Tissue Res. 2013 May;352(2):179-90. doi: 10.1007/s00441-013-1565-2. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

The MEF2 family and the brain: from molecules to memory.

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LNCA, UMR 7264, UDS/CNRS, Strasbourg, France.


The MEF2 (myocyte enhancer factor 2) family of transcription factors is composed of four distinct vertebrate genes. These factors were first identified in muscle but are also present in brain. MEF2 is involved in neuronal survival and is able to regulate the growth and pruning of neurons in response to stimulation. Dendrite remodelling is under the control of genes that MEF2 can turn on or off and some of its target genes have been identified. Among them are immediate-early genes such as C-JUN and NUR77 and neuronal-activity-regulated genes such as ARC, SYNGAP, HOMER1A and BDNF. MEF2 is able to control the synapse number in the hippocampus in which its activation inhibits the growth of dendritic spines, highlighting its important role in memory and learning. In addition, mutations in the MEF2 gene has been found in patients with Rett-like disorder. MEF2 has also been implicated in other pathologies such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

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