Control of neuronal gene expression

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Science  21 Sep 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4668, pp. 1308-1315
DOI: 10.1126/science.6474179


Some 30,000 genes are expressed exclusively in the rat brain, many of which contain a genetic element called an identifier sequence located in at least one of their introns. The identifier sequences are transcribed by RNA polymerase III exclusively in neurons to produce two RNA species, BC1 and BC2, of 160 and 100 to 110 nucleotides. This transcriptional event may define regions of chromatin that contain neuronal-specific genes and may poise these genes for transcription by polymerase II by rendering the gene promoters accessible to soluble trans-acting molecules.