Nature Reviews Neuroscience 10, 754-759 (October 2009) | doi:10.1038/nrn2713

Focus on: CNS evolution

OpinionMicroRNAs tell an evo–devo story

Kenneth S. Kosik1  About the author


Evolutionary developmental biology, often called evo–devo, seeks to understand the ancestral relationship among organisms by comparing their developmental strategies and ultimately reconstructing the pathways that led to the extraordinary variety of biological forms. The insights from this synthesis of developmental biology and evolutionary principles are useful for understanding the development of the nervous system. The pervasive and crucial roles of microRNAs in nervous system development suggest that these short non-coding transcripts deserve a chapter in the unfolding evo–devo story. The structure of microRNAs, their physical proximity to other genes and their network effects on targets make this class of transcripts tractable genetic material for evolutionary change.

Author affiliations

  1. Kenneth S. Kosik is at the Neuroscience Research Institute and the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA.

Published online 9 September 2009


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