Human brain evolution: Emerging roles for regulatory DNA and RNA.
Humans diverge from other primates in numerous ways, including their neuroanatomy and cognitive capacities. Human-specific features are particularly prominent in the cerebral cortex, which has undergone an expansion in size and acquired unique cellular composition and circuitry. Human-specific gene expression is postulated to explain neocortical anatomical differences across evolution. In particular, noncoding regulatory loci are strongly linked to human traits, including progenitor proliferation and cortical size. In this review, we highlight emerging noncoding elements implicated in human cortical evolution, including roles for regulatory DNA and RNA. Further, we discuss the association of human-specific genetic changes with neurodevelopmental diseases.
Liu, J; Mosti, F; Silver, DL
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