Janine LaSalle, Ph.D.

Tupper Hall
Room 3428
Davis Campus

Our laboratory is interested in the role of epigenetics in human autism-spectrum disorders. Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in chromosomes that are not encoded in the DNA sequence, including DNA methylation and chromatin organization. The clinical applications of our research include understanding the pathogenesis of the neurodevelopmental disorders autism, Rett syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and Dup15q syndrome. We are also interested in identifying epigenetic biomarkers at the interface of genetic and environmental risk factors in autism-spectrum disorders using tissues accessible from birth, such as placenta and cord blood.

For more information, visit the LaSalle Laboratory website.

Breton CV, Landon R, Kahn LG, Enlow MB, Peterson AK, Bastain T, Braun J, Comstock SS, Duarte CS, Hipwell A, Ji H, LaSalle JM, Miller RL, Musci R, Posner J, Schmidt R, Suglia SF, Tung I, Weisenberger D, Zhu Y, Fry R. Exploring the evidence for epigenetic regulation of environmental influences on child health across generations. Commun Biol. 2021 Jun 22;4(1):769. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02316-6. PMID: 34158610; PMCID: PMC8219763.

Sarode GV, Neier K, Shibata NM, Shen Y, Goncharov DA, Goncharova EA, Mazi TA, Joshi N, Settles ML, LaSalle JM, Medici V. Wilson Disease: Intersecting DNA Methylation and Histone Acetylation Regulation of Gene Expression in a Mouse Model of Hepatic Copper Accumulation. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Jun 4;12(4):1457-1477. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2021.05.020. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34098115; PMCID: PMC8487080.

Laufer BI, Gomez JA, Jianu JM, LaSalle JM. Stable DNMT3L overexpression in SH-SY5Y neurons recreates a facet of the genome-wide Down syndrome DNA methylation signature. Epigenetics Chromatin. 2021 Mar 9;14(1):13. doi: 10.1186/s13072-021-00387-7. PMID: 33750431; PMCID: PMC7942011.

Mendiola AJP, LaSalle JM. Epigenetics in Prader-Willi Syndrome. Front Genet. 2021 Feb 15;12:624581. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.624581. PMID: 33659026; PMCID: PMC7917289.

Laufer BI, Hwang H, Jianu JM, Mordaunt CE, Korf IF, Hertz-Picciotto I, LaSalle JM. Low-pass whole genome bisulfite sequencing of neonatal dried blood spots identifies a role for RUNX1 in Down syndrome DNA methylation profiles. Hum Mol Genet. 2021 Jan 6;29(21):3465-3476. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddaa218. PMID: 33001180; PMCID: PMC7788293.

Zhu Y, Mordaunt CE, Durbin-Johnson BP, Caudill MA, Malysheva OV, Miller JW, Green R, James SJ, Melnyk SB, Fallin MD, Hertz-Picciotto I, Schmidt RJ, LaSalle JM. Expression Changes in Epigenetic Gene Pathways Associated With One-Carbon Nutritional Metabolites in Maternal Blood From Pregnancies Resulting in Autism and Non-Typical Neurodevelopment. Autism Res. 2021 Jan;14(1):11-28. doi: 10.1002/aur.2428. Epub 2020 Nov 7. PMID: 33159718; PMCID: PMC7894157.

Medici V, Sarode GV, Napoli E, Song GY, Shibata NM, Guimarães AO, Mordaunt CE, Kieffer DA, Mazi TA, Czlonkowska A, Litwin T, LaSalle JM, Giulivi C. mtDNA depletion-like syndrome in Wilson disease. Liver Int. 2020 Nov;40(11):2776-2787. doi: 10.1111/liv.14646. Epub 2020 Sep 30. PMID: 32996699; PMCID: PMC8079140.

Mordaunt CE, Jianu JM, Laufer BI, Zhu Y, Hwang H, Dunaway KW, Bakulski KM, Feinberg JI, Volk HE, Lyall K, Croen LA, Newschaffer CJ, Ozonoff S, Hertz-Picciotto I, Fallin MD, Schmidt RJ, LaSalle JM. Cord blood DNA methylome in newborns later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder reflects early dysregulation of neurodevelopmental and X-linked genes. Genome Med. 2020 Oct 14;12(1):88. doi: 10.1186/s13073-020-00785-8. PMID: 33054850; PMCID: PMC7559201.

Ciernia AV, Link VM, Careaga M, LaSalle JM, Ashwood P. Genetic variants drive altered epigenetic regulation of endotoxin response in BTBR macrophages. Brain Behav Immun. 2020 Oct;89:20-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.05.058. Epub 2020 May 23. PMID: 32454135; PMCID: PMC7572655.

Vogel Ciernia A, Laufer BI, Hwang H, Dunaway KW, Mordaunt CE, Coulson RL, Yasui DH, LaSalle JM. Epigenomic Convergence of Neural-Immune Risk Factors in Neurodevelopmental Disorder Cortex. Cereb Cortex. 2020 Mar 21;30(2):640-655. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz115. PMID: 31240313; PMCID: PMC7306174.

Vogel Ciernia A*, Laufer BI*, Hwang H, Dunaway KW, Mordaunt CE, Coulson RL, Yasui DH, LaSalle JM. 2019. Epigenomic convergence of genetic and immune risk factors in autism brain. Cerebral Cortex.

Laufer BI, Hwang H, Vogel Ciernia A, Mordaunt CE, LaSalle JM. 2019. Whole genome bisulfite sequencing of Down syndrome brain reveals regional DNA hypermethylation and novel disease insights. Epigenetics.

Zhu Y, Mordaunt CE, Yasui DH, Marathe R, Coulson RL, Dunaway KW, Jianu JM, Walker CK, Ozonoff S, Hertz-Picciotto I, Schmidt RJ, LaSalle JM. 2019. Placental DNA methylation levels at CYP2E1 and IRS2 are associated with child outcome in a prospective autism study. Human Molecular Genetics.

Mordaunt CE, Kieffer DA, Shibata NM, Członkowska A, Litwin T, Weiss KH, Zhu Y, Bowlus CL, Sarkar S, Cooper S, Wan YY, Ali MR, LaSalle JM, Medici V. 2019. Epigenomic signatures in liver and blood of Wilson disease patients include hypermethylation of liver-specific enhancers. Epigenetics & Chromatin.

Lopez SJ, Segal DJ, LaSalle JM. 2019. UBE3A: An E3 Ubiquitin Ligase With Genome-Wide Impact in Neurodevelopmental Disease. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience.

Ciernia AV, Yasui DH, Pride MC, Durbin-Johnson B, Noronha A, Chang A, Knotts T, Rutkowsky J, Ramsey JJ, Crawley JN, LaSalle JM. August 2018. MeCP2 isoform e1 mutant mice recapitulate motor and metabolic phenotypes of Rett syndrome. Human Molecular Genetics.

Coulson RL, Powell WT, Yasui DH, Dileep G, Resnick J, LaSalle JM. August 2018. Prader-Willi locus Snord116 RNA processing requires an active endogenous allele and neuron-specific splicing by Rbfox3/NeuN. Human Molecular Genetics.

Mordaunt CE, Shibata NM, Kieffer DA, Czlonkowska A, Litwin T, Weiss KH, Gotthardt DN, Olson K, Wei D, Cooper S, Wan YY, Ali M, LaSalle JM, Medici V. July 2018. Epigenetic changes of the thioredoxin system in the tx-j mouse model and in patients with Wilson disease. Human Molecular Genetics.

Adhikari A, Copping NA, Onaga B, Pride MC, Coulson RL, Yang M, Yasui DH, LaSalle JM, Silverman JL. May 2018. Cognitive deficits in the Snord116 deletion mouse model for Prader-Willi syndrome. Neurobiol Learn Mem.

Coulson R, Yasui D, Dunaway K, Laufer BI, Vogel Ciernia A, Mordaunt C, Totah T, LaSalle JM. May 2018. Snord116-dependent diurnal rhythm of DNA methylation in mouse cortex. Nature Communications.

Vogel Ciernia A*, Laufer BI*, Dunaway KW, Mordaunt CE, Coulson RL, Totah TS, Stolzenberg DS, Frahm JC, Singh-Taylor A, Baram TZ, LaSalle JM, Yasui DH. April 2018. Experience-dependent neuroplasticity of the developing hypothalamus: integrative epigenomic approaches. Epigenetics.

Vogel Ciernia A, Careaga M, LaSalle JM, Ashwood P. November 2017. Microglia from offspring of dams with allergic asthma exhibit epigenomic alterations in genes dysregulated in autism. Glia.

Lopez SJ, Dunaway K, Islam MS, Mordaunt C, Vogel Ciernia A, Meguro-Horike M, Horike S, Segal DJ, LaSalle JM. September 2017. UBE3A-mediated regulation of imprinted genes and epigenome-wide marks in human neurons. Epigenetics.

Vogel Ciernia A, Pride M, Durbin-Johnson B, Noronha A, Chang A, Yasui DH, Crawley JN, LaSalle JM. March 2017. Early motor phenotype detection in a female mouse model of Rett syndrome is improved by cross-fostering. Hum Mol Genet.

Crary-Dooley FK, Tam ME, Dunaway KW, Hertz-Picciotto I, Schmidt RJ, LaSalle JM. January 2017. A comparison of existing global DNA methylation assays to low-coverage whole-genome bisulfite sequencing for epidemiological studies. Epigenetics.