REST regulation of gene networks in adult neural stem cells

Nat Commun. 2016 Nov 7:7:13360. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13360.


Adult hippocampal neural stem cells generate newborn neurons throughout life due to their ability to self-renew and exist as quiescent neural progenitors (QNPs) before differentiating into transit-amplifying progenitors (TAPs) and newborn neurons. The mechanisms that control adult neural stem cell self-renewal are still largely unknown. Conditional knockout of REST (repressor element 1-silencing transcription factor) results in precocious activation of QNPs and reduced neurogenesis over time. To gain insight into the molecular mechanisms by which REST regulates adult neural stem cells, we perform chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and RNA-sequencing to identify direct REST target genes. We find REST regulates both QNPs and TAPs, and importantly, ribosome biogenesis, cell cycle and neuronal genes in the process. Furthermore, overexpression of individual REST target ribosome biogenesis or cell cycle genes is sufficient to induce activation of QNPs. Our data define novel REST targets to maintain the quiescent neural stem cell state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation / methods
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / physiology*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Animal
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Ribosomes / physiology
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


  • RE1-silencing transcription factor
  • Repressor Proteins