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Cell Tissue Res. 2019 Sep;377(3):445-458. doi: 10.1007/s00441-019-03093-9. Epub 2019 Aug 24.

Development and evolution of gut structures: from molecules to function.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa comunale, 80121, Naples, Italy.
2
Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Thormøhlensgate 55, 5006, Bergen, Norway.
3
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University, 185 Meeting St, Providence, RI, 02912, USA.
4
Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa comunale, 80121, Naples, Italy. miarnone@szn.it.

Abstract

The emergence of a specialized system for food digestion and nutrient absorption was a crucial innovation for multicellular organisms. Digestive systems with different levels of complexity evolved in different animals, with the endoderm-derived one-way gut of most bilaterians to be the prevailing and more specialized form. While the molecular events regulating the early phases of embryonic tissue specification have been deeply investigated in animals occupying different phylogenetic positions, the mechanisms underlying gut patterning and gut-associated structures differentiation are still mostly obscure. In this review, we describe the main discoveries in gut and gut-associated structures development in echinoderm larvae (mainly for sea urchin and, when available, for sea star) and compare them with existing information in vertebrates. An impressive degree of conservation emerges when comparing the transcription factor toolkits recruited for gut cells and tissue differentiation in animals as diverse as echinoderms and vertebrates, thus suggesting that their function emerged in the deuterostome ancestor.

KEYWORDS:

Echinoderm; Gastrointestinal system; Gene regulatory network; Pancreas; Sphincter

PMID:
31446445
DOI:
10.1007/s00441-019-03093-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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