The epigenetic basis of memory formation and storage

Academic Article


  • © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. The formation of long-term memory requires a series of cellular and molecular changes that involve transcriptional regulation of gene expression. While these changes in gene transcription were initially thought to be largely regulated by the activation of transcription factors by intracellular signaling molecules, epigenetic mechanisms have emerged as an important regulator of transcriptional processes across multiple brain regions to form a memory circuit for a learned event or experience. Due to their self-perpetuating nature and ability to bidirectionally control gene expression, these epigenetic mechanisms have the potential to not only regulate initial memory formation but also modify and update memory over time. This chapter focuses on the established, but poorly understood, role for epigenetic mechanisms such as posttranslational modifications of histone proteins and DNA methylation at the different stages of memory storage. Additionally, this chapter emphasizes how these mechanisms interact to control the ideal epigenetic environment for memory formation and modification in neurons. The reader will gain insights into the limitations in our current understanding of epigenetic regulation of memory storage, especially in terms of their cell-type specificity and the lack of understanding in the interactions of various epigenetic modifiers to one another to impact gene expression changes during memory formation.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jarome TJ; Thomas JS; Lubin FD
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 27
  • Volume

  • 128
  • Issue

  • C