Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.)

Inhibition of different histone acetyltransferases (HATs) uncovers transcription-dependent and -independent acetylation-mediated mechanisms in memory formation.

PMID 26773101


Acetylation of histones changes the efficiency of the transcription processes and thus contributes to the formation of long-term memory (LTM). In our comparative study, we used two inhibitors to characterize the contribution of different histone acetyl transferases (HATs) to appetitive associative learning in the honeybee. For one we applied garcinol, an inhibitor of the HATs of the p300 (EP300 binding protein)/CBP (CREB-binding protein) family, and the HATs of the PCAF (p300/CBP-associated factor) family. As comparative agent we applied C646, a specific inhibitor that selectively blocks HATS of the p300/CBP family. Immunochemical analysis reveals differences in histone H3 acetylation in the honeybee brain, in response to the injection of either C646 or garcinol. Behavioral assessment reveals that the two drugs cause memory impairment of different nature when injected after associative conditioning: processes disturbed by garcinol are annihilated by the established transcription blocker actinomycin D and thus seem to require transcription processes. Actions of C646 are unaltered by actinomycin D, and thus seem to be independent of transcription. The outcome of our different approaches as summarized suggests that distinct HATs contribute to different acetylation-mediated processes in memory formation. We further deduce that the acetylation-mediated processes in memory formation comprise transcription-dependent and transcription-independent mechanisms.