PKCα-mediated phosphorylation of LSD1 is required for presynaptic plasticity and hippocampal learning and memory

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 7;7(1):4912. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-05239-7.


Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) is a histone demethylase that participates in transcriptional repression or activation. Recent studies reported that LSD1 is involved in learning and memory. Although LSD1 phosphorylation by PKCα was implicated in circadian rhythmicity, the importance of LSD1 phosphorylation in learning and memory is unknown. In this study, we examined the roles of LSD1 in synaptic plasticity and memory using Lsd1 SA/SA knock-in (KI) mice, in which a PKCα phosphorylation site is mutated. Interestingly, short-term and long-term contextual fear memory as well as spatial memory were impaired in Lsd1 KI mice. In addition, short-term synaptic plasticity, such as paired pulse ratio and post-tetanic potentiation was impaired, whereas long-term synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation and long-term depression, was normal. Moreover, the frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic current was significantly increased, suggesting presynaptic dysfunction in Lsd1 KI mice. Consistent with this, RNA-seq analysis using the hippocampus of Lsd1 KI mice showed significant alterations in the expressions of presynaptic function-related genes. Intriguingly, LSD1n-SA mutant showed diminished binding to histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) compared to LSD1n-WT in SH-SY5Y cells. These results suggest that LSD1 is involved in the regulation of presynaptic gene expression and subsequently regulates the hippocampus-dependent memory in phosphorylation-dependent manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Fear / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / metabolism
  • Histone Demethylases / genetics*
  • Histone Demethylases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Long-Term Synaptic Depression / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory, Long-Term / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha / genetics*
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Histone Demethylases
  • KDM1a protein, mouse
  • Prkca protein, mouse
  • Protein Kinase C-alpha
  • Hdac1 protein, mouse
  • Histone Deacetylase 1