Changing a single amino acid in a protein can have significant effects. By this means, neuronal production would be more important in the frontal lobe during brain development in modern humans than in Neanderthals.
What makes modern man unique? The answer lies partly in (space ), according to featured in Science. It is recognized that The internal structure of the cranium of modern humans and Neanderthals was not different, indicating a similar size of the brain and . But it was not yet known whether a similar size of the neocortex meant the same production .The
Few proteins show differences in their amino acid sequences between Homo sapiens and our ancestors. . However, this is the case with TKTL1, which differs from only one from a primitive alternative. Institute researchers From molecular and From Dresden (Germany) I found this An increase in a type of brain progenitor cell called radial basal glia, which generates the majority of neurons in the developing neocortex.
More neurons formed with the modern human variant of TKTL1
Next, the study authors wanted to know the importance of amino acid modification in the development of the neocortex. They have introduced a modern human variant or primitive variant of TKTL1 into the neocortexfrom mouse. Result: radial basal glia increased with the modern human variant of TKTL1, but not with the . variant . Thus, the brains of mice embryos with the modern human variant of TKTL1 contained more neurons.
In order to see if these same effects were found to develop Humans, the researchers used human brain organelles – miniature structures that mimic the structure and key functions of the brain and were cultured in the laboratory from Human. And so they replaced From TKTL1 to the modern man before than Neanderthal TKTL1 and found that fewer radial basal glia were produced and therefore fewer neurons.
In more detail, Homo sapiens TKTL1 functions through modifications toby one From the pentose pathway followed by an increase in installation . Indeed, modern human TKTL1 increases the synthesis of some Membranes needed to generate the long process of radial basal glia, and thus to increase the production of neurons.
Impact on cognitive abilities associated with the frontal lobe?
If the study indicates that neocortical neurons in modern humans were larger than in Neanderthals (particularly in the frontal lobe), the authors speculate that this may be a virtue. of modern humans associated with the frontal lobe. Thus, our genetic evolution It may have contributed to the development of language and voluntary motor coordination.
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