Epigenetic and epitranscriptomic regulation of axon regeneration

Yating Cheng, Hongjun Song, Guo li Ming, Yi Lan Weng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Effective axonal regeneration in the adult mammalian nervous system requires coordination of elevated intrinsic growth capacity and decreased responses to the inhibitory environment. Intrinsic regenerative capacity largely depends on the gene regulatory network and protein translation machinery. A failure to activate these pathways upon injury is underlying a lack of robust axon regeneration in the mature mammalian central nervous system. Epigenetics and epitranscriptomics are key regulatory mechanisms that shape gene expression and protein translation. Here, we provide an overview of different types of modifications on DNA, histones, and RNA, underpinning the regenerative competence of axons in the mature mammalian peripheral and central nervous systems. We highlight other non-neuronal cells and their epigenetic changes in determining the microenvironment for tissue repair and axon regeneration. We also address advancements of single-cell technology in charting transcriptomic and epigenetic landscapes that may further facilitate the mechanistic understanding of differential regenerative capacity in neuronal subtypes. Finally, as epigenetic and epitranscriptomic processes are commonly affected by brain injuries and psychiatric disorders, understanding their alterations upon brain injury would provide unprecedented mechanistic insights into etiology of injury-associated-psychiatric disorders and facilitate the development of therapeutic interventions to restore brain function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1450
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Axons/metabolism
  • Nerve Regeneration/genetics
  • Central Nervous System
  • Neurons
  • Brain Injuries/metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic/genetics
  • Mammals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology


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