The neuronal activity-driven transcriptome

Mol Neurobiol. 2015;51(3):1071-88. doi: 10.1007/s12035-014-8772-z. Epub 2014 Jun 17.


Activity-driven transcription is a key event associated with long-lasting forms of neuronal plasticity. Despite the efforts to investigate the regulatory mechanisms that control this complex process and the important advances in the knowledge of the function of many activity-induced genes in neurons, as well as the specific contribution of activity-regulated transcription factors, our understanding of how activity-driven transcription operates at the systems biology level is still very limited. This review focuses on the research of neuronal activity-driven transcription from an "omics" perspective. We will discuss the different high-throughput approaches undertaken to characterize the gene programs downstream of specific activity-regulated transcription factors, including CREB, SRF, MeCP2, Fos, Npas4, and others, and the interplay between epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity changes. Although basic questions remain unanswered and important challenges still lie ahead, the refinement of genome-wide techniques for investigating the neuronal transcriptome and epigenome promises great advances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling / trends
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / trends
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Transcriptome / physiology*