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    Histone acetylation is a key component in the consolidation of long-term fear memories. Histone acetylation is fueled by acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), and recently, nuclear-localized metabolic enzymes that produce this metabolite have emerged as direct and local regulators of chromatin. In particular, acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2) mediates histone acetylation in the mouse hippocampus. However, whether ACSS2 regulates long-term fear memory remains to be determined. Here, we show that Acss2 knockout is well tolerated in mice, yet the Acss2-null mouse exhibits reduced acquisition of long-term fear memory. Loss of Acss2 leads to reductions in both histone acetylation and expression of critical learning and memory-related genes in the dorsal hippocampus, specifically following fear conditioning. Furthermore, systemic administration of blood-brain barrier-permeable Acss2 inhibitors during the consolidation window reduces fear-memory formation in mice and rats and reduces anxiety in a predator-scent stress paradigm. Our findings suggest that nuclear acetyl-CoA metabolism via ACSS2 plays a critical, previously unappreciated, role in the formation of fear memories.


    Desi C Alexander, Tanya Corman, Mariel Mendoza, Andrew Glass, Tal Belity, Ranran Wu, Rianne R Campbell, Joseph Han, Ashley A Keiser, Jeffrey Winkler, Marcelo A Wood, Thomas Kim, Benjamin A Garcia, Hagit Cohen, Philipp Mews, Gabor Egervari, Shelley L Berger. Targeting acetyl-CoA metabolism attenuates the formation of fear memories through reduced activity-dependent histone acetylation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2022 Aug 09;119(32):e2114758119

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    PMID: 35921439

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