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Engram-specific transcriptome profiling of contextual memory consolidation


Authors: Priyanka Rao-Ruiz, Jonathan J. Couey, Ivo M. Marcelo, Christian G. Bouwkamp, Denise E. Slump, Mariana R. Matos, Rolinka J. van der Loo, Gabriela J. Martins, Mirjam van den Hout, Wilfred F. van IJcken, Rui M. Costa, Michel C. van den Oever & Steven A. Kushner
Publication: Nature Communications
Date: May 20, 2019
Link to article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09960-x?__hssc=91116613.5.1608888085…


Sparse populations of neurons in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus are causally implicated in the encoding of contextual fear memories. However, engram-specific molecular mechanisms underlying memory consolidation remain largely unknown. Here we perform unbiased RNA sequencing of DG engram neurons 24 h after contextual fear conditioning to identify transcriptome changes specific to memory consolidation. DG engram neurons exhibit a highly distinct pattern of gene expression, in which CREB-dependent transcription features prominently (P = 6.2 × 10−13), including Atf3 (P = 2.4 × 10−41), Penk(P = 1.3 × 10−15), and Kcnq3 (P = 3.1 × 10−12). Moreover, we validate the functional relevance of the RNAseq findings by establishing the causal requirement of intact CREB function specifically within the DG engram during memory consolidation, and identify a novel group of CREB target genes involved in the encoding of long-term memory.

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