Transcriptional Dynamics at Brain Enhancers: from Functional Specialization to Neurodegeneration

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2016 Oct;16(10):94. doi: 10.1007/s11910-016-0689-7.


Over the last decade, the noncoding part of the genome has been shown to harbour thousands of cis-regulatory elements, such as enhancers, that activate well-defined gene expression programs. Driven by the development of numerous techniques, many of these elements are now identified in multiple tissues and cell types, and their characteristics as well as importance in development and disease are becoming increasingly clear. Here, we provide an overview of the insights that were gained from the analysis of noncoding gene regulatory elements in the brain and describe their potential contribution to cell type specialization, brain function and neurodegenerative disease.

Keywords: Common variation; Enhancer; Epigenetics; Gene regulation; Parkinson’s disease; α-synuclein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic / physiology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics*