An orchestra conductor for “jumping genes”

The study has been published in "Development"
An orchestra conductor for “jumping genes”

FOXG1 is a fundamental gene for brain development, and in particular for the formation and organisation of the cerebral cortex, the site of complex functions such as sensory perception and conscious thought. Mutations in this gene can cause FOXG1 syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterised by severe behavioural and cognitive symptoms, along with structural brain abnormalities. FOXG1 is what is known as a “master gene” of neurodevelopment: it is a transcription factor that acts like an orchestra conductor, coordinating and deactivating hundreds of other genes necessary for brain development.

New research published in the scientific magazine Development, by Gabriele Liuzzi and Antonello Mallamaci of the SISSA Laboratory of Cerebral Cortex Development in Trieste, shows that this regulatory role of FOXG1 also extends to certain families of “jumping genes”, finely modulating their biology. 

Full paper