Transcription Factors CREB and NF-κB: Involvement in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

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The main theme of this book is to critically survey the role of two recognized protein molecules (i.e., transcription factors) in processes of human memory. In addition, authors provided recent data ...
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NF-kB Transcription Factor: A Model for the Study of Transcription Regulation in Memory Consolidation, Reconsolidation and Extinction

Pp. 97-112 (16)

Arturo Romano


Some decades ago it was postulated that gene expression regulation is required for long-term memory storage. In the last years, important progress has been made towards the characterization of these mechanisms of transcription. Among them, transcription factors play a key role. This chapter describes the characteristics and the role of one of these transcription factors, NF-κB, in the different phases of memory formation and processing. In more than a decade of research since the first data on the role of NF-κB in neuronal plasticity and memory, a growing body of evidence supports that this transcription factor is involved not only in the formation of the initial long-term memory traces but in the re-stabilization after memory reactivation induced by retrieval. Additionally, the role of NF-κB in the formation of memory extinction is now under study. Extinction entails a temporary inhibition of memory expression and entails a new memory process. Recent data support the inhibition of NF-κB in the formation of memory extinction. Here I propose the use of this transcription factor, together with other neuroplasticity-associated molecular mechanisms, as important tools for understanding the dynamics of the different phases of information processing as well as the determination of brain areas involved in such processes.


Long-term memory, consolidation, reconsolidation, extinction, gene expression, transcription factors, NF-kB, IKK, kB decoy, sulfasalazine.


Laboratorio de Neurobiologia de la Memoria, Departamento de Fisiologia, Biologia Molecular y Celular. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, IFIBYNE-CONICET, Ciudad Universitaria, Pab. II, 2do Piso (1428) Buenos Aires. Argentina.