TET Enzymes and 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine in Neural Progenitor Cell Biology and Neurodevelopment

Ian C. MacArthur, Meelad M. Dawlaty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Studies of tissue-specific epigenomes have revealed 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) to be a highly enriched and dynamic DNA modification in the metazoan nervous system, inspiring interest in the function of this epigenetic mark in neurodevelopment and brain function. 5hmC is generated by oxidation of 5-methylcytosine (5mC), a process catalyzed by the ten–eleven translocation (TET) enzymes. 5hmC serves not only as an intermediate in DNA demethylation but also as a stable epigenetic mark. Here, we review the known functions of 5hmC and TET enzymes in neural progenitor cell biology and embryonic and postnatal neurogenesis. We also discuss how TET enzymes and 5hmC regulate neuronal activity and brain function and highlight their implications in human neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Finally, we present outstanding questions in the field and envision new research directions into the roles of 5hmC and TET enzymes in neurodevelopment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number645335
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Feb 18 2021


  • 5-hydroxymethylcytosine
  • TET enzymes
  • epigenetics
  • neural progenitor cells
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • neurogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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