NYSCF Innovator Discovers Brain Cells Don’t Always Express Parent’s Genes Equally
NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus Dr. Christopher Gregg and his team at the University of Utah School of Medicine discovered that neurons may favor genes from one parent over the other more than previously thought, which could impact risk for mental disorders. In a paper published in Neuron, the scientists found that, in mice and in monkeys, one parent’s copy of a gene was randomly turned off while the other remained active, and that this occurred most often in the developing brain. These changes effected gene expression in most genes, including those implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and many others.
This research has potential implications on the understanding of mammalian brain genetics including human brain genetics and our understanding of neuropsychiatric disorder development and risk.