Changes in gene expression is one mechanism by which neurons transform short-lasting electrical events into long-lasting adaptive changes that may underlie learning and memory.
Calcium (Ca2+) influx through the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype o glutamate receptors and L-Type Ca2+-channels is the trigger for electrical activity-dependent transcriptional responses. To analyse the mechanisms controlling Ca2+-activated transcription, we are using the c-fos gene as a model system.
Analyses of the c-fos promoter lead to the identification of Ca2+ -responsive DNA regulatory elements. However, additional as yet unidentified control regions that lie within the transcribed region of the c-fos gene are necessary for Ca2+-dependent transcriptional activation
Aim of this proposal is the identification and characterisation of intragenic Ca2+ control elements.