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Speech and Language Associated Genes: An Overview

admin March 1, 2013

The human capacity for vocal communication is unrivaled throughout the animal kingdom, though our genetic make-up only differs from our closest relatives by a percent or two. Researchers are beginning to unravel the neurogenetic pathways that enable this unparalleled capability for speech. Initial clues have been unearthed in the identification of genes associated with developmental language disorders, further supported by work in animal models.

The Protein Foxp2 is necessary for normal speech and language development in humans. However, there are many other genes involved in the neuroprocessing and motor abilities associated with speech and language. Contemporary research is uncovering such targets.   Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: Carles Garcia-Roca

The Protein Foxp2 is necessary for normal speech and language development in humans. However, there are many other genes involved in the neuroprocessing and motor abilities associated with speech and language. Contemporary research is uncovering such targets. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: Carles Garcia-Roca

The FOXP2 gene is a hallmark of the neurobiological investigation of language; discovered through the study of a family in which fifteen members possess severe speech co-ordination problems. All affected family members were subsequently found to harbor a missense mutation in their copies of FOXP2 [1,2]. Animal studies in birds and mice suggest that foxp2 is also important for communication throughout the animal kingdom [3, 4]. Yet independent evidence suggests that human FOXP2 is special; two amino acid substitutions in the FoxP2 protein have appeared in man since the human lineage split from chimpanzees around 7 million years ago [5]. These substitutions are outside of known functional domains [6], yet notable differences are seen between cell lines and animal models expressing “humanized” FoxP2 protein and those carrying wildtype versions [7,8].

The anomalies and differences of FOXP2 however, cannot explain the neurological basis and complexity of human language on their own. Other genes and pathways are important for verbal communication in man, demonstrated by the fact common language impairments are not related to mutations in FOXP2 [9]. As more genes, such as DYX1C1 [10], CMIP [11] and ROBO1 [12], are uncovered in patient cases of dyslexia, specific language impairment and developmental verbal dyspraxia, the neurogenetic mapping of the language landscape will become clearer through further biomolecular investigations.

Investigating a speech-related target? Proteintech have an array of antibodies targeting proteins associated with either language deficits neurological processing of language. All antibodies come with a full money-back guarantee covering their use in any application or species.

 Related antibodies

Catalog No. Gene Applications Publications
14335-1-AP Cadm1 ELISA, WB
12851-1-AP CMIP ELISA, WB, IHC 23200848
20529-1-AP FOXP2 ELISA, WB
15500-1-AP DISC1-long specific ELISA, WB, IHC
14522-1-AP DYX1C1 ELISA, WB 22383464, 22375924
20219-1-AP ROBO1 ELISA, WB
17047-1-AP ROGDI ELISA, WB, IHC 22482807, 22424600
11845-1-AP SRPX2 ELISA, WB, IHC 19667118, 18718938

References

[1] SE Fisher et al., Nature Genetics 1998; 18(2):168-170

[2] Lai CS et al., Nature 2001; 413:519-523

[3] Teramitsu et al., PLoS One 2010; 5:e8548

[4] Kurt S PLoS One 2012; 7:e33130

[5] Enard W et al., Nature 2002, 418:869-872

[6] Konopka G et al., Nature 2009, 462:213-217

[7] Enard W et al., Cell 2009, 137:961-671

[8] Reimers-Kipping S et al., Neuroscience 2011, 175:75-84

[9] Fisher SE, Marcus GF, Nat. Rev. Genet. 2006, 7:9-20

[10] Taipale M et al., PNAS USA 2003, 100:11553-11558

[11] Newbury DF et al., Am J Hum Genet 2009, 85:264-272

[12] Hannula-Jouppi K et al., PLoS Genet 2005, 1:e50

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