Core and region-enriched networks of behaviorally regulated genes and the singing genome.
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Songbirds represent an important model organism for elucidating molecular mechanisms that link genes with complex behaviors, in part because they have discrete vocal learning circuits that have parallels with those that mediate human speech. We found that ~10% of the genes in the avian genome were regulated by singing, and we found a striking regional diversity of both basal and singing-induced programs in the four key song nuclei of the zebra finch, a vocal learning songbird. The region-enriched patterns were a result of distinct combinations of region-enriched transcription factors (TFs), their binding motifs, and presinging acetylation of histone 3 at lysine 27 (H3K27ac) enhancer activity in the regulatory regions of the associated genes. RNA interference manipulations validated the role of the calcium-response transcription factor (CaRF) in regulating genes preferentially expressed in specific song nuclei in response to singing. Thus, differential combinatorial binding of a small group of activity-regulated TFs and predefined epigenetic enhancer activity influences the anatomical diversity of behaviorally regulated gene networks.
Enhancer Elements, Genetic
Gene Expression Regulation
Gene Regulatory Networks
Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1126/science.1256780
Publication InfoWhitney, Osceola; Pfenning, Andreas R; Howard, Jason T; Blatti, Charles A; Liu, Fang; Ward, James M; ... Jarvis, Erich D (2014). Core and region-enriched networks of behaviorally regulated genes and the singing genome. Science, 346(6215). pp. 1256780. 10.1126/science.1256780. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11150.
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Professor in the Department of Computer Science
Computational biology, machine learning, Bayesian statistics, transcriptional regulation, genomics and epigenomics, graphical models, Bayesian networks, hidden Markov models, systems biology, computational neurobiology, classification, feature selection
Adjunct Professor in the Dept. of Neurobiology
Dr. Jarvis' laboratory studies the neurobiology of vocal communication. Emphasis is placed on the molecular pathways involved in the perception and production of learned vocalizations. They use an integrative approach that combines behavioral, anatomical, electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. The main animal model used is songbirds, one of the few vertebrate groups that evolved the ability to learn vocalizations. The generality of the discoveries is tested in other vocal
Professor of Neurobiology
The long term goal of our laboratory is to understand at a cellular/molecular level how neuronal activity regulates the formation and maturation of synapses during brain development, and ultimately to use genetic model systems to understand how defects in this developmental process lead to cognitive dysfunction.
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