Different Neuronal Activity Patterns Induce Different Gene Expression Programs


December 4, 2019 - 12:00pm
Northwest Building 243
About the Speaker
Kelsey Tyssowski
Speaker Title: 
Postdoctoral Researcher
Speaker Affiliation: 
Hoekstra Lab

Neurons induce hundreds of activity-regulated genes (ARGs, also called IEGs) in response to extracellular stimuli, suggesting that a vast number of different stimuli could each be coupled to a distinct ARG expression profile. Such coupling could explain how neurons induce different types of plasticity in response to different stimuli. However, few studies have compared ARG induction between different neuronal activity patterns, especially on a genomic scale. We focused specifically on one aspect of neuronal activity pattern—its temporal duration—and demonstrate using RNA-sequencing that different durations of neuronal activity induce different ARGs. We also uncovered the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that couple activity duration to distinct gene expression programs, including MAPK/ERK signaling and differential enhancer activation. Our findings are relevant to (1) developing analytical tools to infer neurons’ past activity states from single-cell sequencing data and (2) understanding how ARG transcription is coupled to neuronal plasticity.