CKB (Creatine kinase brain)

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Likely Difference
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Creatine kinase brain type (CKB) is a brain specific kinase that utilizes phosphocreatine to generate ATP. The expression of this gene is higher in the human brain than it is in other primates, which may provide more energy for use by the human brain from the phosphocreatine circuit. This availability of more energy to the brain has been hypothesized to play a role in the increased human brain size.


Timing of appearance of the difference in the Hominin Lineage as a defined date or a lineage separation event. The point in time associated with lineage separation events may change in the future as the scientific community agrees upon better time estimates. Lineage separation events are defined in 2017 as:

  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and old world monkeys was 25,000 - 30,000 thousand (25 - 30 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and chimpanzees was 6,000 - 8,000 thousand (6 - 8 million) years ago
  • the emergence of the genus Homo was 2,000 thousand (2 million) years ago
  • the Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of humans and neanderthals was 500 thousand years ago
  • the common ancestor of modern humans was 100 - 300 thousand years ago

Definite Appearance: 
6,000 thousand years ago
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Genetics Topic Attributes
Gene symbols follow the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee standard.
Gene Symbol Type of Human-Specific Changes
CKB Expression Pattern Change


  1. Comparative expression analysis of the phosphocreatine circuit in extant primates: Implications for human brain evolution., Pfefferle, Adam D., Warner Lisa R., Wang Catrina W., Nielsen William J., Babbitt Courtney C., Fedrigo Olivier, and Wray Gregory A. , J Hum Evol, 2011 Feb, Volume 60, Issue 2, p.205-12, (2011)