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Cell Tissue Res. 2016 Jul;365(1):65-75. doi: 10.1007/s00441-016-2360-7. Epub 2016 Feb 2.

Ordered expression pattern of Hox and ParaHox genes along the alimentary canal in the ascidian juvenile.

Author information

1
The Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science, Chiba University, Yayoi-cho 1-33, Inage-ku, Chiba, 263-8522, Japan.
2
The Graduate School of Advanced Integration Science, Chiba University, Yayoi-cho 1-33, Inage-ku, Chiba, 263-8522, Japan. ogasawara@faculty.chiba-u.jp.

Abstract

The Hox and ParaHox genes of bilateria share a similar expression pattern along the body axis and are known to be associated with anterior-posterior patterning. In vertebrates, the Hox genes are also expressed in presomitic mesoderm and gut endoderm and the ParaHox genes show a restricted expression pattern in the gut-related derivatives. Regional expression patterns in the embryonic central nervous system of the basal chordates amphioxus and ascidian have been reported; however, little is known about their endodermal expression in the alimentary canal. We focus on the Hox and ParaHox genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis and investigate the gene expression patterns in the juvenile, which shows morphological regionality in the alimentary canal. Gene expression analyses by using whole-mount in situ hybridization reveal that all Hox genes have a regional expression pattern along the alimentary canal. Expression of Hox1 to Hox4 is restricted to the posterior region of pharyngeal derivatives. Hox5 to Hox13 show an ordered expression pattern correlated with each Hox gene number along the postpharyngeal digestive tract. This expression pattern along the anterior-posterior axis has also been observed in Ciona ParaHox genes. Our observations suggest that ascidian Hox and ParaHox clusters are dispersed; however, the ordered expression patterns along the alimentary canal appear to be conserved among chordates.

KEYWORDS:

Ascidian; Gene expression pattern; Hox; Juvenile; ParaHox

PMID:
26837224
DOI:
10.1007/s00441-016-2360-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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