Areas of Interest
Our goal is to elucidate chromatin regulatory mechanisms engaged in cognitive development and function with a focus on intellectual disabilities (ID). These studies may lay a foundation for amelioration of cognitive deficits and will likely contribute to a merging of chromatin biology and neuroscience.
ID imposes cognitive impairment on 1-3% of the total population. Patients are diagnosed by their low intelligence quotient (IQ). Human genetic studies have identified a plethora of candidate genes. Meanwhile, post-translational modifications of histones have been recognized as a “language” describing a variety of nuclear events. Intriguingly, more than 20 ID gene products can be assigned to be regulators of histone/DNA modification network. Accurate interpretation of the histone modification network, therefore, appears to be required for proper cognitive function. However, little is known about how these mutations lead to intellectual disabilities. ID thus is a good pathological model for investigation of the roles of histone/DNA modifications. Our primary focus is on chromatin regulators mutated in ID.