BRD7 is a bromodomain-containing protein (BCP), and recent evidence implicates the role of BCPs in the initiation and development of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, few studies have investigated the biological functions of BRD7 in the central nervous system. In our study, BRD7 was found to be widely expressed in various regions of the mouse brain, including the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), caudate putamen (CPu), hippocampus (Hip), midbrain (Mb), cerebellum (Cb), and mainly co-localized with neuron but not with glia. Using a BRD7 knockout mouse model and a battery of behavioral tests, we report that disruption of BRD7 results in impaired cognitive behavior leaving the emotional behavior unaffected. Moreover, a series of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity were decreased in the medial prefrontal cortex and there was a concomitant decrease in neuronal spine density and dendritic branching in the medial prefrontal cortex. However, no significant difference was found in the hippocampus compared to the wild-type mice. Thus, BRD7 might play a critical role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and affect cognitive behavior.
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