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Proneural genes such as Ascl1 are known to promote cell cycle exit and neuronal differentiation when expressed in neural progenitor cells. The mechanisms by which proneural genes activate neurogenesis--and, in particular, the genes that they regulate--however, are mostly unknown. We performed a genome-wide characterization of the transcriptional targets of(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating disorder that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 people and is accompanied by neuronal dysfunction and neurodegeneration. HD manifests as a progressive chorea, a decline in mental abilities accompanied by behavioural, emotional and psychiatric problems followed by, dementia, and ultimately, death. The molecular(More)
Neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) requires coordinated repression of the pluripotency regulatory program and reciprocal activation of the neurogenic regulatory program. Upon neural induction, ESCs rapidly repress expression of pluripotency genes followed by staged activation of neural progenitor and differentiated neuronal and glial(More)
Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) interfere with the epigenetic process of histone acetylation and are known to have analgesic properties in models of chronic inflammatory pain. The aim of this study was to determine whether these compounds could also affect neuropathic pain. Different class I HDACIs were delivered intrathecally into rat spinal cord(More)
A cardinal property of neural stem cells (NSCs) is their ability to adopt multiple fates upon differentiation. The epigenome is widely seen as a read-out of cellular potential and a manifestation of this can be seen in embryonic stem cells (ESCs), where promoters of many lineage-specific regulators are marked by a bivalent epigenetic signature comprising(More)
HD (Huntington's disease) is a late onset heritable neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by neuronal dysfunction and death, particularly in the cerebral cortex and medium spiny neurons of the striatum. This is followed by progressive chorea, dementia and emotional dysfunction, eventually resulting in death. HD is caused by an expanded CAG repeat(More)
The past few years have seen major advances in the field of NSC (neural stem cell) research with increasing emphasis towards its application in cell-replacement therapy for neurological disorders. However, the clinical application of NSCs will remain largely unfeasible until a comprehensive understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of NSC fate(More)
The proneural transcription factor Ascl1 coordinates gene expression in both proliferating and differentiating progenitors along the neuronal lineage. Here, we used a cellular model of neurogenesis to investigate how Ascl1 interacts with the chromatin landscape to regulate gene expression when promoting neuronal differentiation. We find that Ascl1 binding(More)
Although the adult brain contains neural stem cells (NSCs) that generate new neurons throughout life, these astrocyte-like populations are restricted to two discrete niches. Despite their terminally differentiated phenotype, adult parenchymal astrocytes can re-acquire NSC-like characteristics following injury, and as such, these ‘reactive’ astrocytes offer(More)
Transcriptional dysfunction is a prominent hallmark of Huntington's disease (HD). Several transcription factors have been implicated in the aetiology of HD progression and one of the most prominent is repressor element 1 (RE1) silencing transcription factor (REST). REST is a global repressor of neuronal gene expression and in the presence of mutant(More)