The dynamic genome: transposons and environmental adaptation in the nervous system

Written by Hannah E Lapp & Richard G Hunter

Classically thought as genomic clutter, the functional significance of transposable elements (TEs) has only recently become a focus of attention in neuroscience. Increasingly, studies have demonstrated that the brain seems to have more retrotransposition and TE transcription relative to other somatic tissues, suggesting a unique role for TEs in the central nervous system. TE expression and transposition also appear to vary by brain region and change in response to environmental stimuli such as stress. TEs appear to serve a number of adaptive roles in the nervous system. The regulation of TE expression by steroid, epigenetic and other mechanisms in interplay...

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