Epigenetic Mechanisms Regulating Memory Formation in Health and Disease

  • Li-Huei Tsai
Part of the Research and Perspectives in Neurosciences book series (NEUROSCIENCE)


In 1984, Francis Crick (1916–2004) proposed that “memory might be coded in alterations to particular stretches of chromosomal DNA” (Crick Nature 312:101, 1984). Although the response to this idea was relatively modest at the time, 20 years later it was shown that histone acetylation, a common form of epigenetic modification, was dynamically altered during memory formation (Levenson et al. J Biol Chem 279:40545–40559, 2004). Histone acetylation is regulated by the opposing activities of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs; Bird Nature 447:396–398, 2007; Berger et al. Genes Dev 23:781–783, 2009). HAT proteins are subdivided into five families that have high sequence similarity and related substrate specificity (Kimura et al. J Biochem 138:647–662, 2005). HDACs belong to an ancient protein family that is found in archea, eubacteria, plants, fungi and animals and that requires a Zn2+ ion as a cofactor. Based on phylogenetic analysis, HDACs are grouped into three classes (Class I, II and IV).


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Histone Acetylation Memory Formation Sodium Butyrate H4K12 Acetylation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Picower Institute for Learning and MemoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.The Stanley Center for Psychiatric ResearchBroad Institute for Harvard and MITCambridgeUSA

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