Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Techniques in Neuropsychiatric Research
Neuropsychiatric disorders are highly prevalent (e.g., affecting children 2–8 years old at a rate of 14%). Many of these disorders are highly heritable such as major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Despite this, genome-wide association has failed to identify gene(s) significantly associated with diagnostic status suggesting a strong role for environmental factors and the epigenome. From a molecular standpoint, the study of DNA-protein interactions yields fruitful information regarding the regulation of cellular processes above the level of the nucleotide sequence. Understanding chromatin dynamics may continue to explain individual variation to environmental perturbation and subsequent behavioral response. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) techniques have allowed for probing of epigenetic effectors at specific regions of the genome. The following article reviews the current techniques and considerations when incorporation ChIP into neuropsychiatric models.
Key wordsNeuropsychiatric disorders Chromatin immunoprecipitation DNA-protein Epigenetic
The authors would like to thank both Brian B Griffiths and Amanda MK Madden for technical assistance as well as the University of Massachusetts Boston for startup funding (RGH).
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