About this Research Topic
Epigenetic regulation designates different mechanisms inducing long-lasting changes in chromatin and DNA biochemistry without changes in nucleotide sequence. In the brain, short-lived cellular signals and changes in neuronal activity can drive these long-lasting effects on gene expression. Important mediators of such regulatory events include histone modifications, DNA-methylation, and non-coding RNAs.
Recently, animal models, cell-lines, and studies utilizing human brain tissue have shown that any number of these epigenetic regulatory mechanisms can contribute to changes in gene expression profiles during epileptogenesis and chronic epilepsy. Genome-wide DNA-methylation changes, particularly hyper-methylation of DNA, have been shown to guide gene expression profile changes during epileptogenesis. Post-transcriptional modification of histones, such as transient or sustained changes to phosphorylation and acetylation, have also been reported to influence gene expression. Finally, emerging roles of microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs in controlling brain excitability and seizure thresholds have been elucidated. Taken together, these research lines suggest that epigenetic regulation plays an important role in the establishment and progression of epilepsy. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling these epigenetic changes could highlight novel avenues of treatment for both genetic and acquired forms of epilepsy.
This Research Topic will cover all novel research articles and reviews related to epigenetic regulation of gene expression in genetic or acquired epilepsy. The presented studies can range from big data analysis to more focused functional studies using different methodological approaches.
Keywords: epigenetics, methylation, miRNA, malformation of cortical development, focal cortical development