Genome-wide identification and characterization of functional neuronal activity-dependent enhancers

Athar N. Malik, Thomas Vierbuchen, Martin Hemberg, Alex A. Rubin, Emi Ling, Cameron H. Couch, Hume Stroud, Ivo Spiegel, Kyle Kai How Farh, David A. Harmin, Michael E. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Experience-dependent gene transcription is required for nervous system development and function. However, the DNA regulatory elements that control this program of gene expression are not well defined. Here we characterize the enhancers that function across the genome to mediate activity-dependent transcription in mouse cortical neurons. We find that the subset of enhancers enriched for monomethylation of histone H3 Lys4 (H3K4me1) and binding of the transcriptional coactivator CREBBP (also called CBP) that shows increased acetylation of histone H3 Lys27 (H3K27ac) after membrane depolarization of cortical neurons functions to regulate activity-dependent transcription. A subset of these enhancers appears to require binding of FOS, which was previously thought to bind primarily to promoters. These findings suggest that FOS functions at enhancers to control activity-dependent gene programs that are critical for nervous system function and provide a resource of functional cis-regulatory elements that may give insight into the genetic variants that contribute to brain development and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1330-1339
Number of pages10
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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