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Differential regulation of ParaHox genes by retinoic acid in the invertebrate chordate amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae).

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Author(s)

PW Osborne, G Benoit, V Laudet, M Schubert, David Ellard Keith Ferrier

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Abstract

The ParaHox cluster is the evolutionary sister to the Hox cluster. Like the Hox cluster, the ParaHox cluster displays spatial and temporal regulation of the component genes along the anterior/posterior axis in a manner that correlates with the gene positions within the cluster (a feature called collinearity). The ParaHox cluster is however a simpler system to study because it is composed of only three genes. We provide a detailed analysis of the amphioxus ParaHox cluster and, for the first time in a single species, examine the regulation of the cluster in response to a single developmental signalling molecule, retinoic acid (RA). Embryos treated with either RA or RA antagonist display altered ParaHox gene expression: AmphiGsx expression shifts in the neural tube, and the endodermal boundary between AmphiXlox and AmphiCdx shifts its anterior/posterior position. We identified several putative retinoic acid response elements and in vitro assays suggest some may participate in RA regulation of the ParaHox genes. By comparison to vertebrate ParaHox gene regulation we explore the evolutionary implications. This work highlights how insights into the regulation and evolution of more complex vertebrate arrangements can be obtained through studies of a simpler, Unduplicated amphioxus gene cluster. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume327
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2009

    Research areas

  • Amphioxus, Retinoic acid, Gsx, Xlox, Cdx, ParaHox, Gene regulation, Evolution, Endoderm patterning, EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS, HOX GENES, SEGMENTAL EXPRESSION, SIGNALING PATHWAY, NUCLEAR RECEPTORS, NERVOUS-SYSTEM, NEURAL CREST, IN-VIVO, CLUSTER, MOUSE

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