Epigenetic control of neural stem cell fate

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Oct;14(5):461-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2004.07.006.


Unraveling the mechanisms by which neural stem cells generate distinct cell types remains a central challenge in central nervous system (CNS) biology. Recent studies have shown that epigenetic gene regulation plays an important role in the control of cell growth and differentiation. These epigenetic controls cover a wide spectrum, including the interaction of chromatin remodeling enzymes with neurogenic transcription factors, the maintenance of genome stability in neuronal cells and the involvement of noncoding RNAs in neural fate specification. Extracellular signaling systems that control the growth and differentiation of neural stem cells act, at least in part, by interfacing with these diverse epigenetic mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Chromatin
  • RNA, Untranslated