Modulation of DNA Methylation for Efficient Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells
Larsson, Leyla Sophie
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Epigenetic mechanisms are pivotal for gene regulation and transcription, which are crucial to a proper functioning of the central nervous system (CNS). Numerous neurological and psychiatric diseases are caused by malfunctions in the CNS. Since epigenetics does not affect DNA sequencing and is reversible, it offers a very good method to treat different types of neurological diseases. DNA methylation is an essential process to the functioning of the CNS and is pivotal to gene expression. DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) catalyze this process. Here, we analyze the impact of DNMT modulation on neural stem cell (NSC) differentiation into the different types of neural cells, neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Using DNA methylation inhibitors (5-azacytidine), the impact of regulation change on the differentiation of the NSCs is tested. We find that modulating DNA methylation effectively regulates NSC differentiation.