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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Feb;18(1):95-101. Epub 2005 Dec 6.

Cytoskeletal genes regulating brain size.

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Molecular Medicine Unit, University of Leeds, Clinical Sciences Building, St James's University Hospital, Beckett St., Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7TF, UK.


One of the most notable trends in human evolution is the dramatic increase in brain size that has occurred in the great ape clade, culminating in humans. Of particular interest is the vast expanse of the cerebral cortex, which is believed to have resulted in our ability to perform higher cognitive functions. Recent investigations of congenital microcephaly in humans have resulted in the identification of several genes that non-redundantly and specifically influence mammalian brain size. These genes appear to affect neural progenitor cell number through microtubular organisation at the centrosome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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