Involvement of Hox genes in shell morphogenesis in the encapsulated development of a top shell gastropod (Gibbula varia L.).
ABSTRACT Regulatory gene expression during the patterning of molluscan shells has only recently drawn the attention of scientists. We show that several Hox genes are expressed in association with the shell gland and the mantle in the marine vetigastropod Gibbula varia (L.). The expression of Gva-Hox1, Gva-Post2, and Gva-Post1 is initially detected in the trochophore larval stage in the area of the shell field during formation of embryonic shell. Later, during development, these genes are expressed in the mantle demonstrating their continuous role in larval shell formation and differentiation of mantle edge that secretes the adult shell. Gva-Hox4 is expressed only late during the development of the veliger-like larva and may also be involved in the adult shell morphogenesis. Additionally, this gene also seems to be associated with secretion of another extracellular structure, the operculum. Our data provide further support for association of Hox genes with shell formation which suggest that the molecular mechanisms underlying shell synthesis may consist of numerous conserved pattern-formation genes. In cephalopods, the only other molluscan class in which Hox gene expression has been studied, no involvement of Hox genes in shell formation has been reported. Thus, our results suggest that Hox genes are coopted to various functions in molluscs.
- SourceAvailable from: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Many animals display specific internal or external features with left-right asymmetry. In vertebrates, the molecular pathway that leads to this asymmetry uses the signalling molecule Nodal, a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, which is expressed in the left lateral plate mesoderm, and loss of nodal function produces a randomization of the left-right asymmetry of visceral organs. Orthologues of nodal have also been described in other deuterostomes, including ascidians and sea urchins, but no nodal orthologue has been reported in the other two main clades of Bilateria: Ecdysozoa (including flies and nematodes) and Lophotrochozoa (including snails and annelids). Here we report the first evidence for a nodal orthologue in a non-deuterostome group. We isolated nodal and Pitx (one of the targets of Nodal signalling) in two species of snails and found that the side of the embryo that expresses nodal and Pitx is related to body chirality: both genes are expressed on the right side of the embryo in the dextral (right-handed) species Lottia gigantea and on the left side in the sinistral (left-handed) species Biomphalaria glabrata. We pharmacologically inhibited the Nodal pathway and found that nodal acts upstream of Pitx, and that some treated animals developed with a loss of shell chirality. These results indicate that the involvement of the Nodal pathway in left-right asymmetry might have been an ancestral feature of the Bilateria.Nature 01/2009; 457(7232):1007-11. · 38.60 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The bithorax gene complex in Drosophila contains a minimum of eight genes that seem to code for substances controlling levels of thoracic and abdominal development. The state of repression of at least four of these genes is controlled by cis-regulatory elements and a separate locus (Polycomb) seems to code for a repressor of the complex. The wild-type and mutant segmentation patterns are consistent with an antero-posterior gradient in repressor concentration along the embryo and a proximo-distal gradient along the chromosome in the affinities for repressor of each gene's cis-regulatory element.Nature 01/1979; 276(5688):565-70. · 38.60 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cephalopods are a diverse group of highly derived molluscs, including nautiluses, squids, octopuses and cuttlefish. Evolution of the cephalopod body plan from a monoplacophoran-like ancestor entailed the origin of several key morphological innovations contributing to their impressive evolutionary success. Recruitment of regulatory genes, or even pre-existing regulatory networks, may be a common genetic mechanism for generating new structures. Hox genes encode a family of transcriptional regulatory proteins with a highly conserved role in axial patterning in bilaterians; however, examples highlighting the importance of Hox gene recruitment for new developmental functions are also known. Here we examined developmental expression patterns for eight out of nine Hox genes in the Hawaiian bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes, by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Our data show that Hox orthologues have been recruited multiple times and in many ways in the origin of new cephalopod structures. The manner in which these genes have been co-opted during cephalopod evolution provides insight to the nature of the molecular mechanisms driving morphological change in the Lophotrochozoa, a clade exhibiting the greatest diversity of body plans in the Metazoa.Nature 09/2003; 424(6952):1061-5. · 38.60 Impact Factor