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Elife 2014 Mar 18;3:e01939. doi: 10.7554/eLife.01939.
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Molecular insights into the origin of the Hox-TALE patterning system.

Hudry B , Thomas-Chollier M , Volovik Y , Duffraisse M , Dard A , Frank D , Technau U , Merabet S .

Despite tremendous body form diversity in nature, bilaterian animals share common sets of developmental genes that display conserved expression patterns in the embryo. Among them are the Hox genes, which define different identities along the anterior-posterior axis. Hox proteins exert their function by interaction with TALE transcription factors. Hox and TALE members are also present in some but not all non-bilaterian phyla, raising the question of how Hox-TALE interactions evolved to provide positional information. By using proteins from unicellular and multicellular lineages, we showed that these networks emerged from an ancestral generic motif present in Hox and other related protein families. Interestingly, Hox-TALE networks experienced additional and extensive molecular innovations that were likely crucial for differentiating Hox functions along body plans. Together our results highlight how homeobox gene families evolved during eukaryote evolution to eventually constitute a major patterning system in Eumetazoans. DOI:

PubMed ID: 24642410
PMC ID: PMC3957477
Article link: Elife
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: cdx1 cdx2 cdx4 egr2 hoxb7 hoxb9 hoxc10 hoxd1 hoxd10 hoxd3 lgals4.2 meis3 ncoa6 tbx2 tshb

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Abu-Shaar, Control of the nuclear localization of Extradenticle by competing nuclear import and export signals. 1999, Pubmed