Epigenetic mechanisms in neurogenesis

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Sep;17(9):537-49. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.70. Epub 2016 Jun 23.


In the embryonic and adult brain, neural stem cells proliferate and give rise to neurons and glia through highly regulated processes. Epigenetic mechanisms - including DNA and histone modifications, as well as regulation by non-coding RNAs - have pivotal roles in different stages of neurogenesis. Aberrant epigenetic regulation also contributes to the pathogenesis of various brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic regulation in neurogenesis and its dysregulation in brain disorders, including discussion of newly identified DNA cytosine modifications. We also briefly cover the emerging field of epitranscriptomics, which involves modifications of mRNAs and long non-coding RNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis / genetics*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism