RNA editing, DNA recoding and the evolution of human cognition

John S. Mattick, Mark F. Mehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

RNA editing appears to be the major mechanism by which environmental signals overwrite encoded genetic information to modify gene function and regulation, particularly in the brain. We suggest that the predominance of Alu elements in the human genome is the result of their evolutionary co-adaptation as a modular substrate for RNA editing, driven by selection for higher-order cognitive function. We show that RNA editing alters transcripts from loci encoding proteins involved in neural cell identity, maturation and function, as well as in DNA repair, implying a role for RNA editing not only in neural transmission and network plasticity but also in brain development, and suggesting that communication of productive changes back to the genome might constitute the molecular basis of long-term memory and higher-order cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Fingerprint

RNA Editing
Cognition
DNA
Alu Elements
Long-Term Memory
Brain
Human Genome
Synaptic Transmission
DNA Repair
Communication
Genome
Genes
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

RNA editing, DNA recoding and the evolution of human cognition. / Mattick, John S.; Mehler, Mark F.

In: Trends in Neurosciences, Vol. 31, No. 5, 05.2008, p. 227-233.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ce5c02562daf412aa627b1b73274c24a,
title = "RNA editing, DNA recoding and the evolution of human cognition",
abstract = "RNA editing appears to be the major mechanism by which environmental signals overwrite encoded genetic information to modify gene function and regulation, particularly in the brain. We suggest that the predominance of Alu elements in the human genome is the result of their evolutionary co-adaptation as a modular substrate for RNA editing, driven by selection for higher-order cognitive function. We show that RNA editing alters transcripts from loci encoding proteins involved in neural cell identity, maturation and function, as well as in DNA repair, implying a role for RNA editing not only in neural transmission and network plasticity but also in brain development, and suggesting that communication of productive changes back to the genome might constitute the molecular basis of long-term memory and higher-order cognition.",
author = "Mattick, {John S.} and Mehler, {Mark F.}",
year = "2008",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.tins.2008.02.003",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "227--233",
journal = "Trends in Neurosciences",
issn = "0378-5912",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - RNA editing, DNA recoding and the evolution of human cognition

AU - Mattick, John S.

AU - Mehler, Mark F.

PY - 2008/5

Y1 - 2008/5

N2 - RNA editing appears to be the major mechanism by which environmental signals overwrite encoded genetic information to modify gene function and regulation, particularly in the brain. We suggest that the predominance of Alu elements in the human genome is the result of their evolutionary co-adaptation as a modular substrate for RNA editing, driven by selection for higher-order cognitive function. We show that RNA editing alters transcripts from loci encoding proteins involved in neural cell identity, maturation and function, as well as in DNA repair, implying a role for RNA editing not only in neural transmission and network plasticity but also in brain development, and suggesting that communication of productive changes back to the genome might constitute the molecular basis of long-term memory and higher-order cognition.

AB - RNA editing appears to be the major mechanism by which environmental signals overwrite encoded genetic information to modify gene function and regulation, particularly in the brain. We suggest that the predominance of Alu elements in the human genome is the result of their evolutionary co-adaptation as a modular substrate for RNA editing, driven by selection for higher-order cognitive function. We show that RNA editing alters transcripts from loci encoding proteins involved in neural cell identity, maturation and function, as well as in DNA repair, implying a role for RNA editing not only in neural transmission and network plasticity but also in brain development, and suggesting that communication of productive changes back to the genome might constitute the molecular basis of long-term memory and higher-order cognition.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=43049105810&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=43049105810&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.tins.2008.02.003

DO - 10.1016/j.tins.2008.02.003

M3 - Article

VL - 31

SP - 227

EP - 233

JO - Trends in Neurosciences

JF - Trends in Neurosciences

SN - 0378-5912

IS - 5

ER -