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Trends Neurosci. 2010 Oct;33(10):435-45. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2010.05.006.

The molecular and gene regulatory signature of a neuron.

Author information

1
Columbia University Medical Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New York, NY, USA. or38@columbia.edu

Abstract

Neuron-type specific gene batteries define the morphological and functional diversity of cell types in the nervous system. Here, we discuss the composition of neuron-type specific gene batteries and illustrate gene regulatory strategies which determine the unique gene expression profiles and molecular composition of individual neuronal cell types from C. elegans to higher vertebrates. Based on principles learned from prokaryotic gene regulation, we argue that neuronal terminal gene batteries are functionally grouped into parallel-acting 'regulons'. The theoretical concepts discussed here provide testable hypotheses for future experimental analysis of the exact gene-regulatory mechanisms employed in the generation of neuronal diversity and identity.

PMID:
20663572
PMCID:
PMC2947585
DOI:
10.1016/j.tins.2010.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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