PolyADP-ribosylation is required for long-term memory formation in mammals

Shmuel Goldberg, Leonid Visochek, Eliezer Giladi, Illana Gozes, Malka Cohen-Armon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PolyADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification of nuclear proteins, catalyzed by polyADP-ribose polymerases (PARPs). In the nucleus, polyADP-ribosylation catalyzed by PARP-1 alters protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, and is implicated in chromatin remodeling, DNA transcription, and repair. Previous results linked the activation of PARP-1 with long-term memory formation during learning in the marine mollusk Aplysia (Science 2004, 304:1820-1822). Furthermore, PARP-1 was highly activated in mammalian cerebral neurons treated with neurotrophins and neurotrophic peptides promoting neurite outgrowth and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine the possibility that PARP-1 activation is required for memory formation during learning in mammals. Mice were tested in two learning paradigms, object recognition and fear conditioning. PolyADP-ribosylation of PARP-1 and histone H1 were detected in their cerebral cortex and hippocampus immediately after their training session. Moreover, in both behavioral paradigms, suppression of PARP activity in the CNS during learning impaired their long-term memory formation, without damaging their short-term memory. These findings implicate PARP-1 activation in molecular processes underlying long-term memory formation during learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Fear conditioning
  • Long-term memory
  • Object recognition
  • PolyADP-ribosylation


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