Epigenetic maintenance of transcription / neuronal migration

Science 11 January 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6116 pp. 204-207 DOI:10.1126/science.1229326

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Ezh2 Orchestrates Topographic Migration and Connectivity of Mouse Precerebellar Neurons

Excerpt: “During brain development, epigenetic mechanisms allow tangentially migrating neurons to retain topographical organization.”

Article Extract: “Here, we addressed the role of Ezh2, which is member of the Polycomb repressive complex 2 and trimethylates histone H3 at lysine 27 (H3K27me3) (9).”

My comment:

In our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review, (Diamond, Binstock, Kohl) we addressed “chromo domain” proteins, e.g., polycomb in the context of gonadotropin releasing hormone neuronal migration and prenatal sexual differentiation in mammals. The section head is:

“Molecular epigenetics” Yet another kind of epigenetic imprinting occurs in species as diverse as yeast, Drosophila, mice, and humans and is based upon small DNA-binding proteins called “chromo domain” proteins, e.g., polycomb. These proteins affect chromatin structure, often in telomeric regions, and thereby affect transcription and silencing of various genes (Saunders, Chue, Goebl, Craig, Clark, Powers, Eissenberg, Elgin, Rothfield, and Earnshaw, 1993; Singh, Miller, Pearce, Kothary, Burton, Paro, James, and Gaunt, 1991; Trofatter, Long, Murrell, Stotler, Gusella, and Buckler, 1995). Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans (Adler and Hajduk, 1994; de Bono, Zarkower, and Hodgkin, 1995; Ge, Zuo, and Manley, 1991; Green, 1991; Parkhurst and Meneely, 1994; Wilkins, 1995; Wolfner, 1988). That similar proteins perform functions in humans suggests the possibility that some human sex differences may arise from alternative splicings of otherwise identical genes.”

I have since taken our model further to include nutrient chemical-dependent (e.g., glucose) epigenetic effects in placental mammals that are modulated by social stressors via the epigenetic effects of pheromones. I hope the authors here will reply and address migration in the context of ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction. I think what they’ve just shown us exemplifies the molecular biology of epigenetically driven adaptive evolution. Doesn’t it?


About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society