Going retro: ancient viral origins of cognition

Neuron. 2015 Apr 22;86(2):346-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.04.008.


In this issue of Neuron, Zhang et al. (2015) provide the first crystal structure of a domain Arc. These results confirm prior computational approaches that suggested Arc, a master regulator of vertebrate synaptic plasticity, was "domesticated" from Ty3/Gypsy retrotransposons.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism*
  • Genes, Immediate-Early / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Retroelements / physiology*
  • Synapses / metabolism*


  • Retroelements