© 2008

Retrotransposition, Diversity and the Brain

  • Editors
  • Fred H. Gage
  • Yves Christen
Conference proceedings

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Jue Lin, Elissa S. Epel, Elizabeth H. Blackburn
    Pages 1-12
  3. Susumu Tonegawa, Thomas J. McHugh
    Pages 13-19
  4. Jef D. Boeke, Wenfeng An, Lixin Dai, Edward S. Davis, Jeffrey S. Han, Kathryn A. O’Donnell et al.
    Pages 21-32
  5. Roland Ivanyi-Nagy, Jean-Luc Darlix
    Pages 33-42
  6. H.H. Kazazian, M.d.C Seleme, D.V Babusho, D.M. Ostertag, M.R. Vetter, P.K. Mandal
    Pages 43-52
  7. Alysson R. Muotri, Maria C.N. Marchetto, Fred H. Gage
    Pages 53-64
  8. Robert H. Yolken, Håkan Karlsson, Ioannis Bossis, Linnéa Asp, Faith Dickerson, Christoffer Nellåker et al.
    Pages 65-85
  9. Edward C. Gilmore, Christopher A. Walsh
    Pages 109-120
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 121-123

About these proceedings


Retroelements are ancient mobile DNA found in most organisms. Long dismissed as useless, selfish or "junk" DNA, they were thought to be mere intracellular parasites from our distant evolutionary past. Together with their mutant relatives, L1 sequences constitute almost 50% of the mammalian genome. L1s can retrotranspose in a defined window of the neuronal differentiation, changing the genetic information in single neurons in a "random" fashion, allowing the brain to develop in distinct different ways. Such strategy contributes to expand the number of functionally distinct neurons that could be produced from a given stem cell gene pool. This characteristic of variety and flexibility may contribute to the uniqueness of an individual brain, even between genetically identical twins. These mobile elements may be part of conserved core process responsible for evoking facilitated complex non-random phenotypical variation on which selection may act. A detailed understanding of the basic mechanisms of L1 activity may shed light on one possible mechanism for generating neural diversity.

The book results from a fascinating and stimulating exchange of ideas at the interface of the complexity of brain organization and function, the mechanisms for generating diversity and genetic mobility. This meeting of leading geneticists, molecular biologists and neuroscientists was organized by the Fondation IPSEN. Its ambitious goal was to expand the current limits of research in neurobiology not only to the benefit of those interested in the cellular and molecular processes but also for the understanding of high-level cognitive functions and the understanding of complex mental diseases. The reader can judge how far the book achieves this.


DNA DNA repair Telomere endogenous retroviruses genes microcephalies neuropsychiatric disorders retrotransposons telomeres

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Retrotransposition, Diversity and the Brain
  • Editors Fred H. Gage
  • Series Title Research and Perspectives in Neurosciences
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag 2008
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-540-74965-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-09437-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-540-74966-0
  • Series ISSN 1861-2253
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 123
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Neurology
    Human Genetics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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