The role of MeCP2 in regulating synaptic plasticity in the context of stress and depression




Sánchez-Lafuente, Carla L.
Kalynchuk, Lisa E.
Caruncho, Hector J.
Ausió, Juan

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Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) is a transcriptional regulator that is highly abundant in the brain. It binds to methylated genomic DNA to regulate a range of physiological functions implicated in neuronal development and adult synaptic plasticity. MeCP2 has mainly been studied for its role in neurodevelopmental disorders, but alterations in MeCP2 are also present in stress-related disorders such as major depression. Impairments in both stress regulation and synaptic plasticity are associated with depression, but the specific mechanisms underlying these changes have not been identified. Here, we review the interplay between stress, synaptic plasticity, and MeCP2. We focus our attention on the transcriptional regulation of important neuronal plasticity genes such as BDNF and reelin (RELN). Moreover, we provide evidence from recent studies showing a link between chronic stress-induced depressive symptoms and dysregulation of MeCP2 expression, underscoring the role of this protein in stress-related pathology. We conclude that MeCP2 is a promising target for the development of novel, more efficacious therapeutics for the treatment of stress-related disorders such as depression.



methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2), epigenetics, reelin, depression, stress, synaptic plasticity, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), transcriptional repression


Sánchez-Lafuente, C., Kalynchuk, L., Caruncho, H., & Ausió, J. (2022). “The role of MeCP2 in regulating synaptic plasticity in the context of stress and depression.” Cells, 11(4), 748.