Regulatory principles in neural stem cells, neurogenesis and brain diseases

Regulatory principles in neural stem cells, neurogenesis and brain diseases

Coexpression of the stem cell specific transcription factor Sox2 (red) and the chromatin remodeler CHD7 in neural stem cells
© Dr. Haikun Liu

We generated a series of mouse models that allow us to precisely manipulate gene expression in adult NSCs and BTSCs. After analyzing multiple transcription factors and chromatin factors in adult neurogenesis and gliomagenesis, we were able to generate a hypothesis of how the reversible transcriptional regulations are involved in regulating NSC activity and brain tumorigenesis. We are systematically analyzing the role of chromatin regulators in neurogenesis in order to further consolidate this hypothesis, in particular we are interested in studying epigenetic factors (CHD7, CHD8 and EZH2) which are mutated in human mental diseases and brain cancers.

With the fully established technics on single cell biology, we are actively uncovering the fundamental principles of neurogenesis on single cell level. Our technology includes single molecular FISH (smFISH), single cell lineage tracing, single cell RNA-Seq and single cell genetic manipulations in vivo. We hope to unravel new principles of neurogenesis on single cell level, which will help to understand how different neural cells are generated during normal development.

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