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Lineage divergence of activity-driven transcription and evolution of cognitive ability

  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience 19, 915 (2018)
  • doi:10.1038/nrn.2017.138
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Abstract

Excitation–transcription coupling shapes network formation during brain development and controls neuronal survival, synaptic function and cognitive skills in the adult. New studies have uncovered differences in the transcriptional responses to synaptic activity between humans and mice. These differences are caused both by the emergence of lineage-specific activity-regulated genes and by the acquisition of signal-responsive DNA elements in gene regulatory regions that determine whether a gene can be transcriptionally induced by synaptic activity or alter the extent of its inducibility. Such evolutionary divergence may have contributed to lineage-related advancements in cognitive abilities.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. UK Dementia Research Institute at The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Medical School, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK.

    • Giles E. Hardingham
  2. Department of Neurobiology, Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN), Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

    • Priit Pruunsild
    •  & Hilmar Bading
  3. Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    • Michael E. Greenberg

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Contributions

H.B., G.E.H. and P.P. contributed equally to researching the data for the article and making substantial contributions to discussion of content. H.B., P.P. and G.E.H. wrote the article. H.B, G.E.H., P.P. and M.E.G. contributed to reviewing and/or editing of the manuscript before submission.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hilmar Bading.