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Schahram Akbarian and colleagues report that mutation of the gene encoding the SETDB1 (KMT1E) histone methyltransferase in mouse neurons leads to dissolution of chromosome conformations and a topologically associated domain at the clustered protocadherin locus. They show that SETDB1 prevents excess CTCF binding and is important for maintaining developmentally important higher-order chromatin organization.
A new study shows that nicotinic receptors activate a particular type of interneuron in the prefrontal cortex. Deficits in this relationship give rise to behavioral abnormalities similar to those associated with schizophrenia, which can be ameliorated by nicotine.