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CREB binding protein (CBP) is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetyltransferase activity. Our prior study suggested that CBP might be a key target of presenilins in the regulation of memory formation and neuronal survival. To elucidate the role of CBP in the adult brain, we generated conditional knock-out (cKO) mice in which CBP is completely inactivated in excitatory neurons of the postnatal forebrain. Histological analysis revealed normal neuronal morphology and absence of age-dependent neuronal degeneration in the CBP cKO cerebral cortex. CBP cKO mice exhibited robust impairment in the formation of spatial, associative, and object-recognition memory. In addition to impaired long-term memory, CBP cKO mice also displayed deficits in short-term associative and object-recognition memory. Administration of a histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A, rescued the reduction of acetylated histones in the CBP cKO cortex but failed to rescue either short- or long-term memory deficits, suggesting that the memory impairment may not be caused by general reduction of histone acetyltransferase activity in CBP cKO mice. Further microarray and Western analysis showed decreased expression of calcium-calmodulin-dependent kinase isoforms and NMDA and AMPA receptor subunits in the cerebral cortex of CBP cKO mice. Collectively, these findings suggest a crucial role for CBP in the formation of both short- and long-term memory.


Guiquan Chen, Xiaoyan Zou, Hirotaka Watanabe, Jan M van Deursen, Jie Shen. CREB binding protein is required for both short-term and long-term memory formation. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2010 Sep 29;30(39):13066-77

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PMID: 20881124

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