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Mech Dev. 1996 Dec;60(2):233-9.

Ectopic lens induction in fish in response to the murine homeobox gene Six3.

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Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany.


Recent findings show an unexpected conservation of genes involved in vertebrate and insect eye development. The Drosophila homeobox gene sine oculis is crucial for eye development. Its murine homologue, Six3 is expressed in the anterior neural plate, a region which is involved in lens induction in Xenopus. To examine whether Six3 participates in the process of eye formation, mouse Six3 was ectopically expressed in fish embryos. The results show that Six3 is sufficient to promote ectopic lens formation in the area of the otic vesicle and that retinal tissue is not a prerequisite for ectopic lens differentiation. Our findings suggest a conserved function for Six3 in metazoan eye development.

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