Dr Paul Marshall
Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland

Title: "Dynamic DNA structure states and memory" 


"DNA forms conformational states beyond the right-handed double helix; however, the functional relevance of these noncanonical structures in the brain remains unknown. In this talk I will describe that in the prefrontal cortex of mice, the formation of one such structure, Z-DNA, is involved in the regulation of extinction memory. Z-DNA is formed during fear learning and reduced during extinction learning, which is mediated, in part, by a direct interaction between Z-DNA and the RNA-editing enzyme Adar1. Adar1 binds to Z-DNA during fear extinction learning, which leads to a reduction in Z-DNA at sites where Adar1 is recruited. Knockdown of Adar1 leads to an inability to modify a previously acquired fear memory and blocks activity-dependent changes in DNA structure and RNA state—effects that are fully rescued by the introduction of full-length Adar1. These findings suggest a new mechanism of learning-induced gene regulation that is dependent on proteins that recognize alternate DNA structure states, which are required for memory flexibility. Further explorations of other DNA structures are underway to explore the generality of this phenomena and will also be discussed." 



About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

While seminars in the QBI Auditorium have been suspended due to COVID-19, we will still be holding seminars via Zoom. The days and times of these seminars will vary depending on the time zone of the speaker. Please see each seminar listed below for details. 


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018