Dr. Iva Zovkic, Assistant Professor. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto at Mississauga
Talk Title: Epigenetic Mechanisms of Memory: A role for histone variants
Brain & Behaviour Seminar Series 2014-2015
Reception to follow in the Psychology Lounge, room 4043, Sidney Smith Hall
Abstract: Epigenetic regulation of transcription plays a dual role in memory, acting transiently to regulate cellular onsolidation in the hippocampus and stably to regulate remote memory in the cortex. Signaling-dependent histone subunit exchange is a potent epigenetic regulator of transcription in most cells, but its role in cognition has not been explored. We have found that H2A.Z, a variant of histone H2A, is a memory suppressor that is exchanged during memory formation. Fear learning transiently reduces H2A.Z expression and H2A.Z binding at plasticity-related genes in the hippocampus, and H2A.Z knockdown in this region enhances recent memory 24h after learning. In the longer term, altered H2A.Z binding is observed in the cortex and H2A.Z knockdown in this region enhances remote memory for at least 30 days after training. We identify H2A.Z subunit exchange as a novel regulator of memory and implicate nucleosome composition in stabilizing outcomes from transient experiences.
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