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Nucleic Acids Res. 1990 Apr 25; 18(8): 2033–2036.
PMCID: PMC330679

Cloning and analysis of three new homeobox genes from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.


Three homeobox-containing genes from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are described. Two of them (ceh-11 and ceh-12) were isolated from a genomic library by hybridization at low stringency with the Ascaris lumbricoides homeobox AHB-1. The first clone contains a homeobox defining a new class of homeoboxes (ceh-11). This gene maps on the third chromosome of C. elegans, at the same locus as egl-5, a gene already known to be essential for the determination of specific neurons. In the second clone, sequence analysis revealed the existence of the third helix of a putative homeobox (ceh-12) which is interrupted by an intron located upstream of the codon for the amino acid 45 of the homeodomain. Using the ceh-11 homeobox as a probe, a third homeobox (ceh-13) was isolated from a cDNA library. As ceh-13 belongs to the labial class of homeoboxes, we conclude that, at the time when the nematode lineage diverged from the myriapod-insect and the vertebrate lineages, the duplication which led to the Antp and the labial families of homeoboxes had already taken place.

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