Spatial genome organization and cognition

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Nov;17(11):681-691. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.124. Epub 2016 Oct 6.


Nonrandom chromosomal conformations, including promoter-enhancer loopings that bypass kilobases or megabases of linear genome, provide a crucial layer of transcriptional regulation and move vast amounts of non-coding sequence into the physical proximity of genes that are important for neurodevelopment, cognition and behaviour. Activity-regulated changes in the neuronal '3D genome' could govern transcriptional mechanisms associated with learning and plasticity, and loop-bound intergenic and intronic non-coding sequences have been implicated in psychiatric and adult-onset neurodegenerative disease. Recent studies have begun to clarify the roles of spatial genome organization in normal and abnormal cognition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • DNA Methylation / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Genome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / genetics*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / metabolism
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / pathology
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • RNA, Untranslated / genetics
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated