Jun Xu, Ph.D.
General Research Interest
We study cognition and emotion in mouse models of neurodevelopmental
disorders (e.g. mental retardation, autism, and mood disorder).
Specifically, we carry out analyses that focus on epigenetic chromatin
remodeling which integrates the behavioral impacts of genetics,
physiology, and early life experience. These projects examine specific
chromatin modifying enzymes and chromatin modifications which regulate
gene expression, synaptic morphology, and behavior. At the same time, we
search for the causative genes and chromatin remodeling events
responsible for behavioral variations between mice of different strains,
sexes, ages, or social/physical environment. In these projects, we
employ a variety of laboratory techniques such as viral-mediated gene
knock-in and knock-out, chromatin immunoprecipation, gene expression
array, synaptic/dendritic quantification, and behavioral testing.
Selected Research Projects
Epigenetic chromatin modification, gene expression, synaptic/dendritic
morphology, and behavior in mice
with deletion or repression of the X-linked mental retardation gene
Sexually dimorphic and juvenile-onset depression-like behaviors in mice.
National Institute of Health
Patricia Dotson, Research Technician
Kelley Harmon, Postdoctoral
Dr. Hikaru Itoh, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Gengze Wei, Postdoctoral Fellow
Xu J, Deng X, Watkins R, Disteche CM. (2008)
Sex-specific differences in expression of histone demethylases Utx and
Uty in mouse brain and neurons. Journal of Neuroscience 28: 4521-4527.
Xu J, Deng X, Disteche CM. (2008) Sex-specific
expression of the X-linked histone demethylase gene Jarid1c in brain.
PLoS ONE. 3(7): e2553.
Xu, J. and Disteche, C. (2009) Gene dosage haplo-insufficiency
in Turner syndrome. In Gravholt, C.H. (ed), Turner – Know Your Body: an
Information Book on Turner Syndrome. Novo Nordisk, UK.
Kim HS, Sherman DK, Sasaki JY, Xu J, Chu TQ, Ryu C, Suh
EM, Graham K, and Shelley E. Taylor SE (2010) Culture, distress, and
oxytocin receptor polymorphism (OXTR) interact to influence emotional
support seeking. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107: 15717-21.
Kim HS, Sherman DK, Taylor SE, Sasaki JY, Chu TQ, Ryu C, Suh EM,
Xu J. (2010) Culture, serotonin receptor polymorphism and locus
of attention. Social Cognition and Affective Neuroscience. 5: 212-8.
Xu J and Andreassi M (2010) Reversible Histone
Methylation Regulates Brain Gene Expression and Behavior. Hormones and
Behavior [2010 Sept 9. Epub ahead of print]
Mellios N, Galdzicka M, Ginns E, Rogaev E, Xu J, and
Akbarian S. (2010) An estrogen-sensitive microRNA, miR-30b, is expressed
at decreased levels in cerebral cortex of female subjects with
schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin [2010 Aug 23. Epub ahead of print]