The study focuses on direct neuronal reprogramming, which turns glial cells of the central nervous system into functional neurons. This complex process holds promise for treating a variety of neurological disorders.

To elucidate the reprogramming mechanisms, the researchers analyzed a series of epigenetic factors that control gene activity in cells. They found that post-translational modification of the transcription factor Neurogenin2 significantly affected neuronal reprogramming. However, Neurogenin2 alone was not sufficient to completely reprogram glial cells.

After identifying a new and important player, the researchers identified YingYang1, a transcriptional regulator required for the transition of chromatin to an open state. This transition activates and regulates genes required for the transformation of astrocytic glial cells into neurons.

This discovery marks an important step toward the development of new treatments for neurological disorders.

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Source: Ferra

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