Genevieve Konopka

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The enormous complexity of the human brain ultimately derives from a finite set of molecular instructions encoded in the human genome. These instructions can be directly studied by exploring the organization of the brain's transcriptome through systematic analysis of gene coexpression relationships. We analyzed gene coexpression relationships in microarray(More)
Mutations in FOXP2, a member of the forkhead family of transcription factor genes, are the only known cause of developmental speech and language disorders in humans. To date, there are no known targets of human FOXP2 in the nervous system. The identification of FOXP2 targets in the developing human brain, therefore, provides a unique tool with which to(More)
The signalling pathways controlling both the evolution and development of language in the human brain remain unknown. So far, the transcription factor FOXP2 (forkhead box P2) is the only gene implicated in Mendelian forms of human speech and language dysfunction. It has been proposed that the amino acid composition in the human variant of FOXP2 has(More)
The pathogenic event common to all forms of Alzheimer's disease is the abnormal accumulation of the amyloid beta-peptide (Abeta). Here we provide strong evidence that intracellular cholesterol compartmentation modulates the generation of Abeta. Using genetic, biochemical and metabolic approaches, we found that cholesteryl-ester levels are directly(More)
The availability of pluripotent stem cells offers the possibility of using such cells to model hepatic disease and development. With this in mind, we previously established a protocol that facilitates the differentiation of both human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells into cells that share many characteristics with hepatocytes. The use(More)
Epithelial formation is a central facet of organogenesis that relies on intercellular junction assembly to create functionally distinct apical and basal cell surfaces. How this process is regulated during embryonic development remains obscure. Previous studies using conditional knockout mice have shown that loss of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha(More)
Understanding human-specific patterns of brain gene expression and regulation can provide key insights into human brain evolution and speciation. Here, we use next-generation sequencing, and Illumina and Affymetrix microarray platforms, to compare the transcriptome of human, chimpanzee, and macaque telencephalon. Our analysis reveals a predominance of genes(More)
Advances in genetics and genomics have fuelled a revolution in discovery-based, or hypothesis-generating, research that provides a powerful complement to the more directly hypothesis-driven molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Genetic and functional genomic studies have already yielded important insights into neuronal diversity and function, as(More)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable, behaviorally defined, heterogeneous disorder of unknown pathogenesis. Several genetic risk genes have been identified, including the gene encoding the receptor tyrosine kinase MET, which regulates neuronal differentiation and growth. An ASD-associated polymorphism disrupts MET gene transcription, and(More)
Inactivation of the tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog (mutated in multiple advanced cancers 1) (PTEN) is recognized as a major event in the pathogenesis of the brain tumor glioblastoma. However, the mechanisms by which PTEN loss specifically impacts the malignant behavior of glioblastoma cells, including their proliferation and propensity for(More)