Chromatin-bound RNA and the neurobiology of psychiatric disease

J. S. Tushir, S. Akbarian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A large, and still rapidly expanding literature on epigenetic regulation in the nervous system has provided fundamental insights into the dynamic regulation of DNA methylation and post-translational histone modifications in the context of neuronal plasticity in health and disease. Remarkably, however, very little is known about the potential role of chromatin-bound RNAs, including many long non-coding transcripts and various types of small RNAs. Here, we provide an overview on RNA-mediated regulation of chromatin structure and function, with focus on histone lysine methylation and psychiatric disease. Examples of recently discovered chromatin-bound long non-coding RNAs important for neuronal health and function include the brain-derived neurotrophic factor antisense transcript (Bdnf-AS) which regulates expression of the corresponding sense transcript, and LOC389023 which is associated with human-specific histone methylation signatures at the chromosome 2q14.1 neurodevelopmental risk locus by regulating expression of DPP10, an auxillary subunit for voltage-gated K(+) channels. We predict that the exploration of chromatin-bound RNA will significantly advance our current knowledge base in neuroepigenetics and biological psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 4 Apr 2014


  • Antisense
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Dipeptidyl-peptidase 10
  • Histone methylation
  • Non-coding RNA
  • Polycomb repressor complex


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