Long-Term Memory Requires PolyADP-ribosylation

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PolyADP-ribose-polymerase 1 is activated in neurons that mediate several forms of long-term memory in Aplysia. Because polyADP-ribosylation of nuclear proteins is a response to DNA damage in virtually all eukaryotic cells, it is surprising that activation of the polymerase occurs during learning and is required for long-term memory. We suggest that fast and transient decondensation of chromatin structure by polyADP-ribosylation enables the transcription needed to form long-term memory without strand breaks in DNA.

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