• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. Jan 1996; 142(1): 295–303.
PMCID: PMC1206958

Evolution of Antennapedia-Class Homeobox Genes


Antennapedia (Antp)-class homeobox genes are involved in the determination of pattern formation along the anterior-posterior axis of the animal embryo. A phylogenetic analysis of Antp-class homeodomains of the nematode, Drosophila, amphioxus, mouse, and human indicates that the 13 cognate group genes of this gene family can be divided into two major groups, i.e., groups I and II. Group I genes can further be divided into subgroups A (cognate groups 1-2), B (cognate group 3), and C (cognate groups 4-8), and group II genes can be divided into subgroups D (cognate groups 9-10) and E (cognate groups 11-13), though this classification is somewhat ambiguous. Evolutionary distances among different amino acid sequences suggest that the divergence between group I and group II genes occurred ~1000 million years (MY) ago, and the five different subgroups were formed by ~600 MY ago, probably before the divergence of Pseudocoelomates (e.g., nematodes) and Coelomates (e.g., insects and chordates). Our results show that the genes that are phylogenetically close are also closely located in the chromosome, suggesting that the colinearity between the gene expression and gene arrangement was generated by successive tandem gene duplications and that the gene arrangement has been maintained by some sort of selection.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (889K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Averof M, Akam M. Hox genes and the diversification of insect and crustacean body plans. Nature. 1995 Aug 3;376(6539):420–423. [PubMed]
  • Bachiller D, Macías A, Duboule D, Morata G. Conservation of a functional hierarchy between mammalian and insect Hox/HOM genes. EMBO J. 1994 Apr 15;13(8):1930–1941. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bartels JL, Murtha MT, Ruddle FH. Multiple Hox/HOM-class homeoboxes in Platyhelminthes. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1993 Jun;2(2):143–151. [PubMed]
  • Bürglin TR, Ruvkun G. The Caenorhabditis elegans homeobox gene cluster. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1993 Aug;3(4):615–620. [PubMed]
  • Degnan BM, Degnan SM, Giusti A, Morse DE. A hox/hom homeobox gene in sponges. Gene. 1995 Apr 3;155(2):175–177. [PubMed]
  • Dick MH, Buss LW. A PCR-based survey of homeobox genes in Ctenodrilus serratus (Annelida: Polychaeta). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1994 Jun;3(2):146–158. [PubMed]
  • Duboule D. How to make a limb? Science. 1994 Oct 28;266(5185):575–576. [PubMed]
  • Garcia-Fernández J, Holland PW. Archetypal organization of the amphioxus Hox gene cluster. Nature. 1994 Aug 18;370(6490):563–566. [PubMed]
  • Gehring WJ, Qian YQ, Billeter M, Furukubo-Tokunaga K, Schier AF, Resendez-Perez D, Affolter M, Otting G, Wüthrich K. Homeodomain-DNA recognition. Cell. 1994 Jul 29;78(2):211–223. [PubMed]
  • Haack H, Gruss P. The establishment of murine Hox-1 expression domains during patterning of the limb. Dev Biol. 1993 Jun;157(2):410–422. [PubMed]
  • Hazelrigg T, Kaufman TC. Revertants of Dominant Mutations Associated with the Antennapedia Gene Complex of DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER: Cytology and Genetics. Genetics. 1983 Nov;105(3):581–600. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hughes AL, Nei M. Evolutionary relationships of class II major-histocompatibility-complex genes in mammals. Mol Biol Evol. 1990 Nov;7(6):491–514. [PubMed]
  • Hughes AL, Nei M. Evolutionary relationships of the classes of major histocompatibility complex genes. Immunogenetics. 1993;37(5):337–346. [PubMed]
  • Kappen C, Schughart K, Ruddle FH. Two steps in the evolution of Antennapedia-class vertebrate homeobox genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Jul;86(14):5459–5463. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Naito M, Ishiguro H, Fujisawa T, Kurosawa Y. Presence of eight distinct homeobox-containing genes in cnidarians. FEBS Lett. 1993 Nov 1;333(3):271–274. [PubMed]
  • Nei M, Takezaki N, Sitnikova T. Assessing molecular phylogenies. Science. 1995 Jan 13;267(5195):253–256. [PubMed]
  • Peterson RL, Papenbrock T, Davda MM, Awgulewitsch A. The murine Hoxc cluster contains five neighboring AbdB-related Hox genes that show unique spatially coordinated expression in posterior embryonic subregions. Mech Dev. 1994 Sep;47(3):253–260. [PubMed]
  • Reynaud CA, Dahan A, Anquez V, Weill JC. Somatic hyperconversion diversifies the single Vh gene of the chicken with a high incidence in the D region. Cell. 1989 Oct 6;59(1):171–183. [PubMed]
  • Ruddle FH, Bartels JL, Bentley KL, Kappen C, Murtha MT, Pendleton JW. Evolution of Hox genes. Annu Rev Genet. 1994;28:423–442. [PubMed]
  • Salser SJ, Kenyon C. Patterning C. elegans: homeotic cluster genes, cell fates and cell migrations. Trends Genet. 1994 May;10(5):159–164. [PubMed]
  • Schubert FR, Nieselt-Struwe K, Gruss P. The Antennapedia-type homeobox genes have evolved from three precursors separated early in metazoan evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jan 1;90(1):143–147. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schughart K, Kappen C, Ruddle FH. Duplication of large genomic regions during the evolution of vertebrate homeobox genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Sep;86(18):7067–7071. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sitnikova T, Rzhetsky A, Nei M. Interior-branch and bootstrap tests of phylogenetic trees. Mol Biol Evol. 1995 Mar;12(2):319–333. [PubMed]
  • Snow P, Buss LW. HOM/Hox-type homeoboxes from Stylaria lacustris (Annelida: Oligochaeta). Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1994 Dec;3(4):360–364. [PubMed]
  • Tiong SY, Whittle JR, Gribbin MC. Chromosomal continuity in the abdominal region of the bithorax complex of Drosophila is not essential for its contribution to metameric identity. Development. 1987 Sep;101(1):135–142. [PubMed]
  • Warren RW, Nagy L, Selegue J, Gates J, Carroll S. Evolution of homeotic gene regulation and function in flies and butterflies. Nature. 1994 Dec 1;372(6505):458–461. [PubMed]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...