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Impaired cued and contextual memory in NPAS2-deficient mice.

Neuronal PAS domain protein 2 (NPAS2) is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) PAS domain transcription factor expressed in multiple regions of the vertebrate brain. Targeted insertion of a beta-galactosidase reporter gene (lacZ) resulted in the production of an NPAS2-lacZ fusion protein and an altered form of NPAS2 lacking the bHLH domain. The neuroanatomical expression pattern of NPAS2-lacZ was temporally and spatially coincident with formation of the mature frontal association/limbic forebrain pathway. NPAS2-deficient mice were subjected to a series of behavioral tests and were found to exhibit deficits in the long-term memory arm of the cued and contextual fear task. Thus, NPAS2 may serve a dedicated regulatory role in the acquisition of specific types of memory.

Pubmed ID: 10864874


  • Garcia JA
  • Zhang D
  • Estill SJ
  • Michnoff C
  • Rutter J
  • Reick M
  • Scott K
  • Diaz-Arrastia R
  • McKnight SL


Science (New York, N.Y.)

Publication Data

June 23, 2000

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG12297
  • Agency: NIA NIH HHS, Id: AG16450
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS01763

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Brain
  • Conditioning (Psychology)
  • Cues
  • Fear
  • Gene Targeting
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • Learning
  • Limbic System
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Prosencephalon
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Touch
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Transfection
  • beta-Galactosidase