C/EBP is an immediate-early gene required for the consolidation of long-term facilitation in Aplysia

Cell. 1994 Mar 25;76(6):1099-114. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90386-7.


The consolidation of long-term memory requires protein and mRNA synthesis. A similar requirement has been demonstrated for learning-related synaptic plasticity in the gill-withdrawal reflex of Aplysia. The monosynaptic component of this reflex can be reconstituted in vitro, where it undergoes both short- and long-term increases in synaptic strength in response to serotonin (5-HT), a neurotransmitter released during behavioral sensitization, a simple form of learning. As with sensitization, the long-term synaptic modification is characterized by a brief consolidation period during which gene expression is required. We find that during this phase, the transcription factor Aplysia CCAAT enhancer-binding protein (ApC/EBP) is induced rapidly by 5-HT and by cAMP, even in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors. Blocking the function of ApC/EBP blocks long-term facilitation selectively without affecting the short-term process. These data indicate that cAMP-inducible immediate-early genes have an essential role in the consolidation of stable long-term synaptic plasticity in Aplysia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Aplysia / genetics*
  • Aplysia / physiology*
  • Avian Sarcoma Viruses / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Genes, Immediate-Early*
  • Memory / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serotonin / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Serotonin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U00994