, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 278-290
Date: 02 May 2012

Epigenetic control on cell fate choice in neural stem cells

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Abstract

Derived from neural stem cells (NSCs) and progenitor cells originated from the neuroectoderm, the nervous system presents an unprecedented degree of cellular diversity, interwoven to ensure correct connections for propagating information and responding to environmental cues. NSCs and progenitor cells must integrate cell-intrinsic programs and environmental cues to achieve production of appropriate types of neurons and glia at appropriate times and places during development. These developmental dynamics are reflected in changes in gene expression, which is regulated by transcription factors and at the epigenetic level. From early commitment of neural lineage to functional plasticity in terminal differentiated neurons, epigenetic regulation is involved in every step of neural development. Here we focus on the recent advance in our understanding of epigenetic regulation on orderly generation of diverse neural cell types in the mammalian nervous system, an important aspect of neural development and regenerative medicine.