The brain is the most complex organ of the body and it contains the greatest diversity of cell types. Collectively, the cells within the brain express the greatest number of genes encoded within our genome. Inappropriate gene expression within these cells plays a fundamental role in many neuronal diseases. Illuminating the mechanisms responsible for gene expression is key to understanding these diseases. Because of the complexity, however, there is still much to understand about the mechanisms responsible for gene expression in the brain. There are many steps required for a protein to be generated from a gene, and groups who focus on gene expression normally study a single step such as regulation of transcription, mechanisms of RNA processing or control of translation. To address this, experts were brought together at the Gene Expression in Neuronal Disease meeting in Cardiff. This forum provided the latest insights into specific stages of gene expression in the brain and encompassed the complete pathway from DNA to protein. The present article summarizes the meeting talks and related papers in this issue of Biochemical Society Transactions.

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