Transcriptional corepressor SIN3A regulates hippocampal synaptic plasticity via Homer1/mGluR5 signaling

JCI Insight. 2020 Mar 12;5(5):e92385. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.92385.


Long-term memory depends on the control of activity-dependent neuronal gene expression, which is regulated by epigenetic modifications. The epigenetic modification of histones is orchestrated by the opposing activities of 2 classes of regulatory complexes: permissive coactivators and silencing corepressors. Much work has focused on coactivator complexes, but little is known about the corepressor complexes that suppress the expression of plasticity-related genes. Here, we define a critical role for the corepressor SIN3A in memory and synaptic plasticity, showing that postnatal neuronal deletion of Sin3a enhances hippocampal long-term potentiation and long-term contextual fear memory. SIN3A regulates the expression of genes encoding proteins in the postsynaptic density. Loss of SIN3A increases expression of the synaptic scaffold Homer1, alters the metabotropic glutamate receptor 1α (mGluR1α) and mGluR5 dependence of long-term potentiation, and increases activation of ERK in the hippocampus after learning. Our studies define a critical role for corepressors in modulating neural plasticity and memory consolidation and reveal that Homer1/mGluR signaling pathways may be central molecular mechanisms for memory enhancement.

Keywords: Epigenetics; Genetics; Memory; Neuroscience; Synapses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Homer Scaffolding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Sin3 Histone Deacetylase and Corepressor Complex / genetics
  • Sin3 Histone Deacetylase and Corepressor Complex / physiology*


  • Grm5 protein, mouse
  • Homer Scaffolding Proteins
  • Homer1 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, Metabotropic Glutamate 5
  • SIN3A transcription factor
  • Sin3 Histone Deacetylase and Corepressor Complex