About this Research Topic
Over the last few years, mutations in genes encoding factors that can modify chromatin structure have emerged as a frequent cause of neurodevelopmental disorders. Post-mortem studies on brains from patients with various neurodevelopmental disorders have described chromatin and other epigenetic alterations that might be linked with abnormalities in neural development and function. Despite the wealth of biochemical knowledge on their mechanisms of action in vitro, and in-depth studies on the in vivo functions of factors like MeCP2, the roles many chromatin remodelling factors (CRFs) play during brain development have not been identified. Furthermore, the brain defects that arise as a consequence of changes in chromatin structure, dynamics and function and how these relate to the eventual behavioural phenotypes remain largely unexplored. This topic is intended to provide an opportunity for researchers to present, discuss and integrate research from a wide range of areas that impacts upon this emerging research area. Together, these contributions will help set the scene for future advances.
We encourage contributions from all areas, including human genomics and genetics, studies in model organisms, and cellular and biochemical approaches that provide insights into chromatin remodelling factors in neural development. In addition to original research articles, reviews, mini-reviews, commentaries and perspectives are welcome.
Potential topics include: genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders, chromatin and epigenetic changes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, gene regulatory networks, biological pathways and neurodevelopmental genes regulated by chromatin remodelling factors, specific mechanisms of action of CRFs in the context of neural development, studies revealing neurodevelopmental functions of CRFs in brain development.
Keywords: chromatin, epigenetics, neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, schizophrenia, development, syndrome, psychiatry
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