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Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2016 May-Jun;51(3):185-94. doi: 10.3109/10409238.2016.1150958. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Drugging the methylome: DNA methylation and memory.

Author information

1
a Department of Neurobiology , University of Alabama at Birmingham , Birmingham , AL , USA.

Abstract

Over the past decade, since epigenetic mechanisms were first implicated in memory formation and synaptic plasticity, dynamic DNA methylation reactions have been identified as integral to long-term memory formation, maintenance, and recall. This review incorporates various new findings that DNA methylation mechanisms are important regulators of non-Hebbian plasticity mechanisms, suggesting that these epigenetic mechanisms are a fundamental link between synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity. Because the field of neuroepigenetics is so young and the biochemical tools necessary to probe gene-specific questions are just now being developed and used, this review also speculates about the direction and potential of therapeutics that target epigenetic mechanisms in the central nervous system and the unique pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties that epigenetic therapies may possess. Mapping the dynamics of the epigenome in response to experiential learning, even a single epigenetic mark in isolation, remains a significant technical and bioinformatic hurdle facing the field, but will be necessary to identify changes to the methylome that govern memory-associated gene expression and effectively drug the epigenome.

KEYWORDS:

Angelman Syndrome; DNA methylation; DNMT; Pittā€“Hopkins Syndrome; TET Oxidase; cognitive disorders; cytosine methylation; demethylation; epigenetics; learning; memory; neuroepigenetics; neuropharmacology; pharmacokinetics; psychopharmacology

PMID:
26915423
PMCID:
PMC5710004
DOI:
10.3109/10409238.2016.1150958
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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