The genome-wide binding profile for human RE1 silencing transcription factor unveils a unique genetic circuitry in hippocampus

James C. McGann, Michael A. Spinner, Saurabh K. Garg, Karin A. Mullendorff, Randall L. Woltjer, Gail Mandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early studies in mouse neurodevelopment led to the discovery of the RE1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST) and its role as a master repressor of neuronal gene expression. Recently, REST was reported to also repress neuronal genes in the human adult brain. These genes were found to be involved in pro-apoptotic pathways; and their repression, associated with increased REST levels during aging, were found to be neuroprotective and conserved across species. However, direct genome-wide REST binding profiles for REST in adult brain have not been identified for any species. Here, we apply this approach to mouse and human hippocampus. We find an expansion of REST binding sites in the human hippocampus that are lacking in both mouse hippocampus and other human non-neuronal cell types. The unique human REST binding sites are associated with genes involved in innate immunity processes and inflammation signaling which, on the basis of histology and recent public transcriptomic analyses, suggest that these new target genes are repressed in glia. We propose that the increases in REST expression in mid-adulthood presage the beginning of brain aging, and that human REST function has evolved to protect the longevity and function of both neurons and glia in human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6582-6595
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume41
Issue number31
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 4 2021

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • ChIP-seq
  • Hippocampus
  • Innate immunity
  • NRSF
  • REST

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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