McGill researchers have discovered, for the first time, the importance of a key epigenetic regulator in the development of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with learning, memory and neural stem cells. Epigenetic regulators change the way specific genes function without altering their DNA sequence. By working with mutant mice as models, the research team, led by Prof. Xiang-Jiao Yang, of McGill’s Goodman Cancer Center & Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Center, was able to link the importance of a specific epigenetic regulator known as BRPF1 to the healthy development of a region in the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus.
Guidance proteins regulate brain plasticity February 4, 2013 - Our ability to learn and form new memories is fully dependent on the brain’s ability to be plastic – that is to change and adapt according to new experiences and environments. A new study from the Montreal Neurological Institute – The Neuro, McGill University, reveals that DCC, the receptor for a crucial protein in the nervous system known as netrin, plays a key role in regulating the plasticity of nerve cell connections in the brain.