HUSHing repetitive-like elements contributes to normal brain development and function

The gene-silencing complex HUSH might be involved in complex disorders affecting the brain and neurons. However, its mechanism of action remains unclear. Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) now uncover the in vivo targets and physiological functions of a component of the HUSH gene-silencing complex and one of its associated proteins. The work, conducted in laboratory mouse models and human brain organoids, links the HUSH complex to normal brain development, neuronal individuality and connectivity, as well as mouse behavior. The findings are published in Science Advances.

Immunofluorescence staining of the mouse brain. Magnification of the mouse cerebellum, the brain region that plays an important role in motor control. Nuclear DNA is shown in blue. In green is the tri-methylation of lysine 9 on histone H3 (H3K9me3), an indicator of silenced heterochromatin. ©Hagelkruys/IMBA

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