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Human Speech And The Foxp2 Gene

937 words - 4 pages

This is my report on evolution of speech and main responsible gene, which is called FOXP2. (Figure 1 – FOXP2 protein)
Foxp2 gene has found in 7q31 choromosome and it encoding protein of 715 amino acids - Forkhead box protein P2 , which is transcription factor. Forkhead box protein P2 have a forkhead-box DNA binding domain and which makes this protein one of the members of FOX family of transcription factors. As we know transcription factors are regulating gene expression in different types of organ-systems, such as lungs, guts and hearth. (1) Figure 1

First time FOXP2 was identified as a language gene, in a famous KE family , or London family. This family was famous because of numerical language disorders that they have in their family (30 people) in 3 generations. In 1990 Myrina Gopnik started her research with this family and reported on them genetic origin of the language. Lately, in 1998 Simon Fisher and his colleagues identified small section on 7th chromosome . Fisher's team discovers a particular mutation which affected FOXP2 gene in chromosomal region, which caused many linguistic disorders in KE family. After this studies, Fisher started to compare different individuals with some disorders and find out , that all of them have mutations on FOXP2 gene. (6) (Figure 2 shows the pedigree of KE family)
Regarding to different studies we know that FOXP2 expressed in different areas of brain, such as basal ganglia , frontal cortex and it is important forlanguage and speech development. Fisher and his collegues characterized different types of disorders in KE family, such as breaking up the words, and problems with grammatical skills. The interesting fact was, that Fisher discovers, that IQ of effected members was lower than not affected ones. During the research there were debates regarding the situation with basal ganglia and association with disorders trait, which let scientists belive that gene which damaged in KE family is important in neural mechanisms of development of language and speech. Regarding to Fisher's team's research they came to a conclusion, that in KE family they deal with FOXP2 gene mutation which caused different disorders in family members also in the stage of embryogenesis FOXP2 leads to not normal development of neural system which is important for language. (2)

OXP2 discoveries after 2002...

Because the language and its development is a very important topic for scientists,in the beginning of 2002 there were series of studies of FOXP2 gene . Fundamental research was performed by Wolfgang Enard. His team was the first which sequenced FOXP2 gene and examined it in different animals, such as chimpanzees, gorillas, mice and ect. (2)
According to Enard human FOXP2 contains changes in amino-acids coding, which suggest that FOXP2 gene was a target for human evolution.
Enard analyzed the structure of Forkhead box protein P2 and studied polyglutamin tracks that protein contains. In biology the...

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