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Endoreplication: A Molecular Trick during Animal Neuron Evolution
Mauro Mandrioli, Lucrezia Mola, Barbara Cuoghi and Dario Sonetti
The Quarterly Review of Biology
Vol. 85, No. 2 (June 2010), pp. 159-169
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/652341
Page Count: 11
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ABSTRACT The occurrence of endoreplication has been repeatedly reported in many organisms, including protists, plants, worms, arthropods, molluscs, fishes, and mammals. As a general rule, cells possessing endoreplicated genomes are largesized and highly metabolically active. Endoreplication has not been frequently reported in neuronal cells that are typically considered to be fully differentiated and nondividing, and which normally contain a diploid genome. Despite this general statement, various papers indicate that giant neurons in molluscs, as well as supramedullary and hypothalamic magnocellular neurons in fishes, contain DNA amounts larger than 2C. In order to study this issue in greater detail here, we review the available data about endoreplication in invertebrate and vertebrate neurons, and discuss its possible functional significance. As a whole, endoreplication seems to be a sort of molecular trick used by neurons in response to the high functional demands that they experience during evolution.
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