Foxp2 Regulates Wiring in Developing Brain: Study

Foxp2 Regulates Wiring in Developing Brain: StudyIn a recent study, scientists have discovered that gene Foxp2 acts like a "genetic dimmer switch" that controls wiring in the developing brain. The study was published in the July 7 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.

The research was led by the Sonja C Vernes from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, in Oxford, UK, and Simon E Fisher from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

During the study, researchers found that mutations of Foxp2 were linked to a rare speech and language disorder. The results were based on the analysis of brain tissue from mouse embryos and found that Foxp2 modulates several hundred genes. Many of these gens influence connections between nerve cells.

Fisher said that gene Foxp2 regulates wiring in developing the brain by managing the products of other genes, which results in the length and number of connections between brain cells. Fisher also said that the study is a good example of how to investigate what happens between genes and various complex brain functions.

Associate Professor Kirrie Ballard, of the University of Sydney, has described the study as a landmark saying that it will help in the understanding of behavioral perspectives of brain.