HOX Genes: 85 (Current Topics in Developmental Biology)

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A subgroup of homeobox genes, which play an important role in the developmental processes of a variety of multicellular organisms, Hox genes have been shown to play a critical role in vertebrate pattern formation. Hox genes can be thought of as general purpose control genes—that is, they are similar in many organisms and direct the same processes in a variety of organisms, from mouse, to fly, to human.

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Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Set up a giveaway. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Hox genes are all expressed during embryogenesis in these groups, which are all directly developing organisms in that embryogenesis leads at once to formation of major elements of the respective adult body plans.

In the maximally indirect development of a large variety of invertebrates, the process of embryogenesis leads only to a free-living, bilaterally organized feeding larva. Maximal indirect development is exemplified in sea urchins. The 5-fold radially symmetric adult body plan of the sea urchin is generated long after embryogenesis is complete, by a separate process occurring within imaginal tissues set aside in the larva.

The single Hox gene complex of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus contains 10 genes, and expression of eight of these genes was measured by quantitative methods during both embryonic and larval developmental stages and also in adult tissues. Only two of these genes are used significantly during the entire process of embryogenesis per se , although all are copiously expressed during the stages when the adult body plan is forming in the imaginal rudiment. They are also all expressed in various combinations in adult tissues. Thus, development of a microscopic, free-living organism of bilaterian grade, the larva, does not appear to require expression of the Hox gene cluster as such, whereas development of the adult body plan does.

These observations reflect on mechanisms by which bilaterian metazoans might have arisen in Precambrian evolution. The Hox gene cluster occupies a central position in current conceptions of both the development and evolution of metazoan body plans. Yet systematic evidence regarding the developmental expression of these genes is largely confined to two animal groups, the arthropods and the chordates. These groups are both direct developers, in the sense that major aspects of their adult body plans form immediately during embryogenesis, e.

Two other organisms for which some information about developmental Hox gene expression exists viz. Expression of the Hox complex has never been examined systematically in any animal that displays maximal indirect development. Here the process of embryogenesis produces a free-living, motile larva capable of feeding and growth, but in structure this larva bears essentially no resemblance to the adult body plan of the species.

In maximal indirect development, the adult body plan instead forms within the larva by a complex secondary process from special patches of cells set aside during embryogenesis 1. The larva itself is a small, bilaterally organized metazoan organism that includes mesodermal as well as ectodermal, and endodermal cell types. Thus, it has muscle cells, neurons, gut cells, skeletogenic cells, and sensory and epidermal cells, some specialized with respect to their ciliary appurtenances, and it is equipped with a complete digestive tract including mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestine, and anus.

Maximal indirect development affords the opportunity of a complete temporal separation between the embryonic process by which the larval micrometazoan develops, and the postembryonic process in which the adult body plan is organized. In a common mode of embryonic specification, which appears primitive for bilaterian metazoans 5 — 7 , the egg is divided up into blastomeres of more or less invariant lineage. Specification of given lineage elements depends on short-range interblastomere signaling occurring during cleavage, as well as on inherited consequences of the cytoarchitecture of the egg.

The specification process directly generates a mosaic of blastomeres before any migratory cells appear, and the immediate progeny of these blastomeres give rise directly to differentiated cell types type 1 embryonic process 6 , 7. Early development in most modern bilaterian clades operates in this way. Two exceptions are the highly derived syncytial strategy used in most insects and the almost unique processes that have evolved in vertebrate but not invertebrate chordates, wherein the large eggs divide to produce thousands of cells before transcriptional activation of the genome.

In vertebrates, specification of cells in most regions of the embryo occurs without respect to lineage in large, migrating cell populations. In all direct developing bilaterians, the processes of adult body plan formation are telescoped down upon the embryonic process, and basic components of the adult body plan emerge soon after gastrulation. However, in indirectly developing deuterostomes and lophotrochozoan 8 protostomes i.

This product is a small metazoan organism of simple construction, i. Because the embryonic blastomeres have a fixed division potential other than the set-aside cells that are reserved for postembryonic development , these micrometazoan organisms consist of only a few thousand cells. We argued 5 in brief i that the ancestors of modern bilaterian metazoans developed by type 1 embryonic processes because this mode of early embryonic specification is a property shared by most extant bilaterian groups; ii that the regulatory apparatus underlying this mode of embryogenesis would have sufficed for the generation of a micrometazoan fauna, similar in grade of organization to the larvae of modern maximal indirect developers; iii that such a fauna provided the preexistent platform for evolution of the modern bilaterian clades; and iv that additional and much more complex developmental regulatory hardwiring would have been required for the advent of large animals displaying body plans of the complexity of modern bilaterians and all fossil forms recognized as such.

Because the bilaterians are monophyletic, this augmentation in developmental regulatory capacity probably happened before divergence of the major bilaterian clades. Two fundamental and interrelated changes were proposed: The nature of such apparatus is now becoming apparent. Spatial patterning of body parts in the development of modern bilaterians is a stepwise process refs. A succession of regulatory states is set up by means of expression of genes dedicated to the patterning process that encodes transcription factors, in distinct spatial domains that foreshadow parts of the structure.

These domains are organized developmentally by spatially confined signaling systems that operate upstream and downstream of the regulatory patterning genes. The Hox cluster genes operate within this system and play key roles in many aspects of spatial patterning 14 , We are beginning to understand how these affect morphological outcome by controlling other patterning functions 16 , The sea urchin provides an excellent test case for a specific prediction deriving from these concepts.

This prediction 5 was that the embryonic regulatory mechanisms needed to generate an organism of the relatively low complexity of the larva will exclude the use of regional patterning devices such as the Hox gene cluster, but, on the other hand, these genes must be called into action in the separate process of adult body plan formation.

The feeding sea urchin larva bears virtually no relation to the 5-fold radially symmetrical adult echinoderm body plan that will develop within it. It is bilaterally and not radially organized, and neither the larval mouth nor its anus, its skeletal structures, its body wall, or its neuronal components become equivalent components of the juvenile. Nor are the anterior-posterior or dorsoventral axes of the larva preserved in the adult body plan.

There were of course already some indications from direct developing animals that Hox cluster genes do not control specification processes in type 1 embryogenesis. For example, in C. In the leech the Hox genes are activated only after the formation of the segmented body plan has occurred by elaboration of the germ band, the cells of which are previously segmentally specified, at their birth The complete Hox gene cluster of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus , a typical indirectly developing sea urchin, has now been cloned and mapped P.

Development 2 Hox Genes 9 8 2015

This work provided the gene-specific probes that were used in the following experiments. Probe excess RNA titrations were performed as described 20 , except for the following details.

HOX Genes: Volume 88

The precipitated RNA was pelleted, washed with ethanol, and lyophilized. The precipitated RNA was collected on glass fiber filters, washed, and dried, and the amount of radioactive RNA was determined by scintillation counting. Earlier work had shown that two of the S. When the Hox cluster was resolved P. There was little significant evidence regarding utilization of the other Hox genes in development. Because negative WMISH data are not informative, we decided to measure the number of transcripts of each of eight different Hox cluster genes in the RNA of embryos collected at different stages: Transcript numbers were calculated from probe excess titrations by using antisense RNA probes specific for each Hox gene.


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The probe excess titration method 20 offered several significant advantages for these purposes: As controls for the measurement procedures and calculations, titrations were carried out for mRNAs of the transcription factor gene SpZ12—1 25 and of the cytoskeletal actin CyIIIa 26 , 27 , the same RNAs as used for estimation of Hox gene transcripts. The values observed were close to those previously published.

Transcript numbers per unit mass RNA and per embryo are directly proportional to the absolute slopes of each data set. An embryo of this age contains 1, cells and is able to feed, because it is equipped with a complete digestive tract Fig. SpHox3 transcripts are abundant in the 2-week larva, however; i.

At this stage, adult body plan formation has begun.

Ciliary Function in Mammalian Development

Current biology , 14 24 , Structural basis of BMP signaling inhibition by Noggin, a novel twelve-membered cystine knot protein. The Journal of bone and joint surgery , A Suppl 3 , Cell , 2 , Tube or not tube: Developmental cell , 4 1 , Signaling systems, guided cell migration, and organogenesis: Epithelial tube morphogenesis during Drosophila tracheal development requires Piopio, a luminal ZP protein. Nature Cell Biology , 5 10 , Structural basis of BMP signalling inhibition by the cystine knot protein Noggin.

Regulation of cell migration during tracheal development in Drosophila melanogaster.

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The International Journal of Developmental Biology , 46 1 , Tracheal development in Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for studying the development of a branched organ. Gene , , In vivo imaging reveals different cellular functions for FGF and Dpp signaling in tracheal branching morphogenesis. Developmental cell , 2 5 , Development , 14 , Affolter, M; Mann, R Nuclear interpretation of Dpp signaling in Drosophila.

The EMBO journal , 20 13 , Specificity of FGF signaling in cell migration in Drosophila. Development , 22 , The EMBO journal , 19 22 , Schnurri interacts with Mad in a Dpp-dependent manner.


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    Current opinion in cell biology , 12 6 , Schnurri mediates Dpp-dependent repression of brinker transcription. Nature Cell Biology , 2 10 , Balancing import and export in development. Development , 24 , Biochemical and biophysical characterization of refolded Drosophila DPP: Journal of Biological Chemistry , 44 , Mann, R S; Affolter, M Hox proteins meet more partners.

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    DNA and cell biology , 17 7 , Molecular cell , 2 4 , DPP controls tracheal cell migration along the dorsoventral body axis of the Drosophila embryo. The EMBO journal , 16 24 , The cramped gene of Drosophila is a member of the Polycomb-group, and interacts with mus, the gene encoding Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen. Development , 17 , The pruned gene encodes the Drosophila serum response factor and regulates cytoplasmic outgrowth during terminal branching of the tracheal system.

    Development , 5 , The Drosophila Serum Response Factor gene is required for the formation of intervein tissue of the wing and is allelic to blistered. Development , 9 , An absolute requirement for both the type II and type I receptors, punt and thick veins, for dpp signaling in vivo. Cell , 80 6 , Cell , 81 5 , Cell , 78 2 , Development , 11 , Homeodomain proteins in development and therapy.

    Annual review of biochemistry , 63 , The Drosophila SRF homolog is expressed in a subset of tracheal cells and maps within a genomic region required for tracheal development. Development , 4 , Regional repression of a Drosophila POU box gene in the endoderm involves inductive interactions between germ layers. NMR structure determination reveals that the homeodomain is connected through a flexible linker to the main body in the Drosophila Antennapedia protein.

    Get HOX Genes: 85 (Current Topics in Developmental Biology) PDF

    In vivo analysis of the helix-turn-helix motif of the fushi tarazu homeo domain of Drosophila melanogaster. Distamycin-induced inhibition of homeodomain-DNA complexes. The EMBO journal , 11 1 , Similarities between the homeodomain and the Hin recombinase DNA-binding domain. Cell , 64 5 , Homeodomain proteins and the regulation of gene expression. Current opinion in cell biology , 2 3 , The interaction with DNA of wild-type and mutant fushi tarazu homeodomains. The EMBO journal , 9 12 , Protein - DNA contacts in the structure of a homeodomain - DNA complex determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in solution.

    The EMBO journal , 9 10 , The structure of the homeodomain and its functional implications. Trends in Genetics , 6 10 , Analysis of the ftz upstream element: DNA binding properties of the purified Antennapedia homeodomain. Secondary structure determination for the Antennapedia homeodomain by nuclear magnetic resonance and evidence for a helix-turn-helix motif. The EMBO journal , 7 13 , Isolation and sequence-specific DNA binding of the Antennapedia homeodomain. Regulation of histone and beta A-globin gene expression during differentiation of chicken erythroid cells.

    Molecular and cellular biology , 7 10 , Affolter, M; Ruiz-Carrillo, A Journal of biological chemistry , 25 , DNA , 5 3 , Affolter, M; Anderson, A Segmental homologies in the coding and 3' non-coding sequences of rat liver cytochrome Pe and Pb cDNAs and cytochrome Pe-like genes. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications , 2 , Genomic organization of the genes coding for the six main histones of the chicken: Curing and induction of the Fels 1 and Fels 2 prophages in the Ames mutagen tester strains of Salmonella typhimurium.

    Mutation research , 2 , Mutagenic response of Ames strains cured of their inducible Fels 1 and Fels 2 prophages.