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BMC Ecol Evol 2023 Oct 27;231:63. doi: 10.1186/s12862-023-02167-1.
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Gene expression in notochord and nuclei pulposi: a study of gene families across the chordate phylum.

Raghavan R , Coppola U , Wu Y , Ihewulezi C , Negrón-Piñeiro LJ , Maguire JE , Hong J , Cunningham M , Kim HJ , Albert TJ , Ali AM , Saint-Jeannet JP , Ristoratore F , Dahia CL , Di Gregorio A .

The transition from notochord to vertebral column is a crucial milestone in chordate evolution and in prenatal development of all vertebrates. As ossification of the vertebral bodies proceeds, involutions of residual notochord cells into the intervertebral discs form the nuclei pulposi, shock-absorbing structures that confer flexibility to the spine. Numerous studies have outlined the developmental and evolutionary relationship between notochord and nuclei pulposi. However, the knowledge of the similarities and differences in the genetic repertoires of these two structures remains limited, also because comparative studies of notochord and nuclei pulposi across chordates are complicated by the gene/genome duplication events that led to extant vertebrates. Here we show the results of a pilot study aimed at bridging the information on these two structures. We have followed in different vertebrates the evolutionary trajectory of notochord genes identified in the invertebrate chordate Ciona, and we have evaluated the extent of conservation of their expression in notochord cells. Our results have uncovered evolutionarily conserved markers of both notochord development and aging/degeneration of the nuclei pulposi.

PubMed ID: 37891482
PMC ID: PMC10605842
Article link: BMC Ecol Evol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: coro1c coro7 phip rgma rgmb rgs6 tbxt tcf3 tmod1 tmod2 tmod3 tmod4
GO keywords: embryo development

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Abi-Rached, Evidence of en bloc duplication in vertebrate genomes. 2002, Pubmed