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Dev Genes Evol. 1998 Apr;208(2):113-6.

The PBC domain contains a MEINOX domain: coevolution of Hox and TALE homeobox genes?

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Department of Cell Biology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


A recent survey of TALE superclass homeobox genes revealed a new domain upstream of the homeodomain that is conserved between the plant KNOX genes and the animal MEIS genes. At the same time, another paper identified the Drosophila gene homothorax (hth) as a homologue of the vertebrate MEIS genes, which prompted a reexamination of the sequences of the MEIS, KNOX (collectively named MEINOX) and PBC domains. Similarity of the complete MEINOX domain was found within the PBC domain. This suggests that the PBC class genes were also derived from the ancient MEINOX genes. Recently, it has been shown that the MEIS genes can interact with the Abd-B genes, whilst previous results have shown that the PBC genes interact with anterior Hox genes. This leads to the hypothesis that the duplication of an ancestral MEINOX gene into the PBC and MEIS genes happened at a point in time when the first two Hox cluster genes, an anterior one and a posterior one, emerged, and that subsequently these gene classes coevolved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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