Over the past decade, rapid advances in epigenomics research have extensively characterized critical roles for chromatin regulatory events during normal periods of eukaryotic cell development and plasticity, as well as part of aberrant processes implicated in human disease. Application of such approaches to studies of the CNS, however, is more recent. Here we provide a comprehensive overview of available tools for analyzing neuroepigenomics data, as well as a discussion of pending challenges specific to the field of neuroscience. Integration of numerous unbiased genome-wide and proteomic approaches will be necessary to fully understand the neuroepigenome and the extraordinarily complex nature of the human brain. This will be critical to the development of future diagnostic and therapeutic strategies aimed at alleviating the vast array of heterogeneous and genetically distinct disorders of the CNS.
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We thank A. Soshnev for help with illustrations. This work was supported by grants from the US National Institute of Mental Health (5R01 MH094698 and P50 MH096890), US National Institute on Drug Abuse (P01 DA008227) and the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Maze, I., Shen, L., Zhang, B. et al. Analytical tools and current challenges in the modern era of neuroepigenomics. Nat Neurosci 17, 1476–1490 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3816
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