FOXN2 Expression: from Pluripotent Stem Cells to Neural Progenitor Cells
AdvisorAment, Seth A.
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AbstractSeveral transcription factors (TFs) have been demonstrated as risk genes for schizophrenia (SCZ) based on genome-wide association studies (GWAS), fine-mapping, and functional studies. In this project, we prioritized TFs that have multiple lines of evidence supporting their likelihood of being causal risk loci for SCZ. We integrated results from four published studies, which used GWAS, gene expression and chromatin conformation studies to identify genes and gene networks associated with SCZ. These analyses revealed that the TF FOXN2 is a strong candidate risk gene for SCZ. Next, we characterized the dynamic expression profile of FOXN2 in our stem-cell based cortical neurogenesis model by qPCR. This study helped in establishing FOXN2 as a risk gene for SCZ potentially involved in cortical neurogenesis and building a strong base for the future genetic editing experiments designed for functional characterization of FOXN2 in cortical neurogenesis, that might relate to the pathophysiology of SCZ.
University of Maryland, Baltimore