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Brain Transcriptome Reveals Gender-Biased Gene Expression

Trajectories of genes identified which are linked to neurobiological categories and diseases

FRIDAY, Oct. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Generation and analysis of an exon-level transcriptome of the human brain and associated genotyping data shows that the transcriptome is organized into different coexpression networks, and shows gender-biased gene expression and exon usage, according to a study published in the Oct. 27 issue of Nature.

Hyo Jung Kang, Ph.D., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues investigated the exon-level transcriptome and associated genotyping data, for males and females of different ethnicities, from multiple brain regions and neocortical areas of developing and adult postmortem human brains. A total of 1,340 tissue samples taken from 57 subjects, aged from 40 days after conception to 82 years, were analyzed.

The investigators found that 86 percent of the genes assessed were expressed. Of these, 90 percent were differentially regulated at the whole-transcript or exon level across brain regions and/or over time. Most of the regional and temporal differences were identified before birth; subsequent increases in the similarity were among regional transcriptomes. The brain transcriptome shows gender-biased gene expression and exon usage, and is organized into discrete coexpression networks. Trajectories of genes linked to neurobiological categories and diseases were found, and correlations were identified between single nucleotide polymorphisms and gene expression.

"This study provides a comprehensive data set on the human brain transcriptome and insights into the transcriptional foundations of human neurodevelopment," the authors write.

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