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Science. 1994 Aug 5;265(5173):785-9.

Homology of the eyeless gene of Drosophila to the Small eye gene in mice and Aniridia in humans.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Basel, Switzerland.


A Drosophila gene that contains both a paired box and a homeobox and has extensive sequence homology to the mouse Pax-6 (Small eye) gene was isolated and mapped to chromosome IV in a region close to the eyeless locus. Two spontaneous mutations, ey2 and eyR, contain transposable element insertions into the cloned gene and affect gene expression, particularly in the eye primordia. This indicates that the cloned gene encodes ey. The finding that ey of Drosophila, Small eye of the mouse, and human Aniridia are encoded by homologous genes suggests that eye morphogenesis is under similar genetic control in both vertebrates and insects, in spite of the large differences in eye morphology and mode of development.

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