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Dev Biol. 1999 Aug 15;212(2):392-404.

CnOtx, a member of the Otx gene family, has a role in cell movement in hydra.

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Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine, California, 92697, USA.


Otx genes have been identified in a variety of organisms and are commonly associated with the patterning of anterior structures. In some vertebrates, Otx genes are also expressed in the prechordal mesoderm, where they may have a role in cell movement. Here we report the characterization of CnOtx, an Otx gene in hydra, thereby providing evidence that Otx genes appeared early in metazoan evolution. CnOtx is expressed at high levels in developing buds and aggregates, where it appears to have a role in the cell movements that are involved in the formation of new axes. Further, the gene is expressed at a low level throughout the body column of hydra. This latter pattern may reflect a role for CnOtx in specifying tissue as competent to be anterior, although the gene does not have a direct role in the formation of the head.

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