DNA Modifications and Neurological Disorders

Yi Lan Weng, Ran An, Jaehoon Shin, Hongjun Song, Guo li Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Mounting evidence has recently underscored the importance of DNA methylation in normal brain functions. DNA methylation machineries are responsible for dynamic regulation of methylation patterns in discrete brain regions. In addition to methylation of cytosines in genomic DNA (5-methylcytosine; 5mC), other forms of modified cytosines, such as 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine, can potentially act as epigenetic marks that regulate gene expression. Importantly, epigenetic modifications require cognate binding proteins to read and translate information into gene expression regulation. Abnormal or incorrect interpretation of DNA methylation patterns can cause devastating consequences, including mental illnesses and neurological disorders. Although DNA methylation was generally considered to be a stable epigenetic mark in post-mitotic cells, recent studies have revealed dynamic DNA modifications in neurons. Such reversibility of 5mC sheds light on potential mechanisms underlying some neurological disorders and suggests a new route to correct aberrant methylation patterns associated with these disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-567
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • 5hmC
  • DNA demethylation
  • DNA methylation
  • DNMT
  • GADD45
  • TET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology


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