Brain development controlled by epigenetic factor

Research into hippocampus has implications for learning and memory
Published: 10 March 2015
 This discovery sheds light on how epigenetic control and neural stem cells may be involved in regulating human brain development, and has implications for intellectual disability in human patients, as well as for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. This finding also suggests new directions for further research on learning and memory during human development and aging since the hippocampus is so important for both mental processes.

“This research supports how important epigenetic regulation is to brain development and health during one’s lifetime, but this is something that we are just starting to understand,” says Yang. “The next step for us is to try and understand better how different epigenetic regulators in the brain interact with one another to integrate information from life experience and from the environment.”

The research was carried out by Linya You, a PhD student in the laboratory, in collaboration with Edwin Wang’s group at National Research Council of Canada and Morag Park’s group at Goodman Cancer Center of McGill University. The research was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Canadian Cancer Society.

To read the full papers ‘The lysine acetyltransferase activator Brpf1 governs dentate gyrus development through neural stem cells and progenitors’ in PLOS Genetics:; and ‘Deficiency of the chromatin regulator Brpf1 causes abnormal brain development’ in Journal Biological Chemistry:



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