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Neuroepigenetics: the Impact of Epigenetic Factors on Neurological Disorders

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Advances in molecular biology and genomics have allowed us to understand the inheritance of genetic and epigenetic information in cellular lineage during differentiation. This information is independent of the changes to the underlying genetic sequence, but rather it depends on the fluctuation in gene ...

Advances in molecular biology and genomics have allowed us to understand the inheritance of genetic and epigenetic information in cellular lineage during differentiation. This information is independent of the changes to the underlying genetic sequence, but rather it depends on the fluctuation in gene expression. During the long life of neurons, such gene expression patterns allow cells to pass through several differentiation stages, and to modulate the synaptic firing in response to environmental changes. Therefore, the mechanisms of gene expression regulation are critical to neuron development. The epigenetic pattern plays an important role in regulating gene expression. Several epigenetic mechanisms including the binding of DNA methylating enzymes, histone modifying enzymes and chromatin remodelers, actively contribute to the gene activity-dependent modulation of neuronal networks. The alteration of these mechanisms can lead to neurodevelopmental defects and altered brain plasticity. Recent progress in human genetics and clinical research has led to the identification of hundreds of genes responsible for neurological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Notably, most of these genes encode for epigenetic regulators. As a result, during the last decade, there has been great interest in deciphering the role of chromatin modifications in the neuronal plasticity in the brain.

In this Research Topic, we would like to welcome manuscripts dedicated to studies regarding to the roles of any epigenetic factors contributing to neurodevelopmental defects, including the unique epigenetic phenomena required for post-mitotic neurons. We are also interested in manuscripts studying the changes of epigenetic patterns on particular genes and of changes that lead to neurological diseases. As such, this collection will bring a better understanding and updates of current findings in the impacts of epigenetic factors on neurological disorders, and thus provide insight to develop early diagnosis and better treatment for such neurological disorders.


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