The formation of long-term synaptic plasticity and long-term memory requires transcription, which occurs by means of transcription factors. These are proteins that bind to the promoter elements upstream of genes and either facilitate or inhibit their expression. Multiple evidence based on correlative changes in expression, genetic mutations, and targeted molecular inhibition of gene expression have helped shed light on the role of transcription in both synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Here, we will provide a brief overview of this experimental work. It emerged that several families of transcription factors, including cyclic AMP (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB), CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP), early growth response (Egr), activating protein 1 (AP-1), and Rel, play a critical role in both processes. Thus, it appears that patterns of transcription regulation may represent the molecular signatures of long-term synaptic changes and memory formation.
- Synaptic plasticity
- Transcription factor