Chromosome 15: Prader-Willi's disease, or Angelman's syndrome, Matt Ridley

Interviewee: Matt Ridley. Genes on chromosome 15 show an effect called "imprinting." The effect of mutations in these genes varies depending on whether they are inherited from the mother or the father, which appears to play different roles in human development. Genes from the father govern the production of the placenta, and genes from the mother are responsible for organizing cells in the embryo, especially the head and brain. (DNAi Location: Genome > Tour > Genome spots > Chromosome 15: Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome > A chromosome 15 story)

You get two copies of each gene, one from your father and one from your mother. It shouldn't matter which comes from which, and in most cases it doesn't. But in a very few genes, there seems to be something called maternal or paternal imprinting, and that means that the gene behaves differently, according to whether it comes from the father or the mother." +" This causes some very strange diseases, which manifest themselves according to whether you got them through the paternal or maternal line. Here on chromosome 15, there is one such pair of diseases, Prader-Willi's disease, or Angelman's syndrome. These imprinted genes have a role in building the brain. It seems as if most of the construction of the brain is done by genes inherited from your mother. Nobody quite knows why.

angelman syndrome,chromosome 15,matt ridley,development genes,strange diseases,prader willi,maternal line,dnai,gene name,interviewee,placenta,mutations,embryo,cells,brain

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