Evolutionarily-conserved role of the NF-κB transcription factor in neural plasticity and memory

Arturo Romano*, Ramiro Freudenthal, Emiliano Merlo, Aryeh Routtenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

NF-κB is an evolutionarily conserved family of transcription factors (TFs) critically involved in basic cellular mechanisms of the immune response, inflammation, development and apoptosis. In spite of the fact that it is expressed in the central nervous system, particularly in areas involved in memory processing, and is activated by signals such as glutamate and Ca 2+, its role in neural plasticity and memory has only recently become apparent. A surprising feature of this molecule is its presence within the synapse. An increasing number of reports have called attention to the role of this TF in processes that require long-term regulation of the synaptic function underlying memory and neural plasticity. Here we review the evidence regarding a dual role for NF-κB, as both a signalling molecule after its activation at the synapse and a transcriptional regulator upon reaching the nucleus. The specific role of this signal, as well as the general transcriptional mechanism, in the process of memory formation is discussed. Converging lines of evidence summarized here point to a pivotal role for the NF-κB transcription factor as a direct signalling mechanism in the regulation of gene expression involved in long-term memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1507-1516
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Keywords

  • Gene expression
  • Long-term memory
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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