Stilling, R. M., Rönicke, R., Benito, E., Urbanke, H., Capece, V., Burkhardt, S., Bahari-Javan, S., Barth, J., Sananbenesi, F., Schütz, A. L., Dyczkowski, J., Martinez-Hernandez, A., Kerimoglu, C., Dent, S. Y., Bonn, S., Reymann, K. G. and Fischer, A.
Neuronal histone acetylation has been linked to memory consolidation, and targeting histone acetylation has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy for neuropsychiatric diseases. However, the role of histone-modifying enzymes in the adult brain is still far from being understood. Here we use RNA sequencing to screen the levels of all known histone acetyltransferases (HATs) in the hippocampal CA1 region and find that K-acetyltransferase 2a (Kat2a)—a HAT that has not been studied for its role in memory function so far—shows highest expression. Mice that lack Kat2a show impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity and long-term memory consolidation. We furthermore show that Kat2a regulates a highly interconnected hippocampal gene expression network linked to neuroactive receptor signaling via a mechanism that involves nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB). In conclusion, our data establish Kat2a as a novel and essential regulator of hippocampal memory consolidation.