Mar 23, 2015

The unusual gene order in the Echinoderm Hox cluster is related to the embryo and larva symmetries

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Spyros Papageorgiou

Abstract

Background Hox gene collinearity relates the sequential location of Hox genes in the 3’ to 5’ direction on the chromosome with the linear arrangement of the body elements along the anterior-posterior (A/P) axis of bilaterian embryos. This spatial Hox gene collinearity has been almost universally respected in diverse organisms like worms, insects or vertebrates. It is therefore surprising that the above well established collinearity rule is violated in the case of Echinoderms. No explanation of this violation is apparent. Here a hypothesis is put forward which provides a cue to understand the abnormal serial gene location in the sea urchin disorganized Hox cluster. Results Bilateral symmetry along the A/P embryo axis is established at the very early stages of ontogeny of the sea urchin. For the subsequent developmental stages, rotational symmetry emerges in the vestibula larva. In analogy to the linear A/P case, the circular topology of modules might be a reflection of the architectural restructuring of the Hox loci where the 3’ and 5’ ends of the Hox cluster approach each other so that a closed contour of the chromatin fiber is formed. At a later stage, the break and opening of the cluster contour at the level of Hox4 combined...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Vertebrates
Embryo
Genes
Entire Embryo
HOXD1 protein, human
Helminths
Larva
Sea urchin (invertebrate)
Chromosomes
Fiber

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