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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 6087143, 10 pages
Review Article

Epigenetic Regulations in Neural Stem Cells and Neurological Diseases

1Department of Neurology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China
2Institute of Neuroscience, Soochow University, Suzhou, China
3Department of Orthopedics, Clinical Medical School, Yangzhou University, Northern Jiangsu People’s Hospital, Yangzhou 225001, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xingshun Xu; nc.ude.adus@uxnuhsgnix and Yongxiang Wang; moc.361@enips819xyw

Received 4 November 2017; Accepted 8 January 2018; Published 18 March 2018

Academic Editor: Yujing Li

Copyright © 2018 Hang Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Among the regulatory mechanisms of the renewal and differentiation of neural stem cells, recent evidences support that epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and noncoding RNAs play critical roles in the regulation on the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells. In this review, we discussed recent advances of DNA modifications on the regulative mechanisms of neural stem cells. Among these epigenetic modifications, DNA 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) modification is emerging as an important modulator on the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells. At the same time, Ten-eleven translocation (Tet) methylcytosine dioxygenases, the rate-limiting enzyme for the 5-hydroxymethylation reaction from 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, play a critical role in the tumorigenesis and the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells. The functions of 5hmC and TET proteins on neural stem cells and their roles in neurological diseases are discussed.