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Dev Growth Differ 2000 Feb 01;421:61-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-169x.2000.00481.x.
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A starfish homolog of mouse T-brain-1 is expressed in the archenteron of Asterina pectinifera embryos: possible involvement of two T-box genes in starfish gastrulation.

Shoguchi E , Satoh N , Maruyama YK .

A cDNA clone for a starfish T-box gene (Ap-Tbr) was isolated and characterized. Molecular phylogenetic analysis showed that the Ap-Tbr gene was a member of the T-brain subfamily, which includes mouse T-brain-1 and Xenopus Eomesodermin. Ap-Tbr was expressed as early as in late blastulae, and the transcript was evident in a disc-like region at the vegetal end or the vegetal plate. In early gastrulae, the gene was expressed in the cells of the invaginated archenteron, from which the majority of mesodermal cells as well as some endodermal cells are derived. The Ap-Tbr expression disappeared by the end of gastrulation, and was not detected in early bipinnaria larvae. This expression pattern of Ap-Tbr suggests its role in an early step of archenteron invagination, associated with mesoderm and endoderm formation. Furthermore, double staining of late blastulae and early gastrulae with a probe specific for Ap-Tbr and one for ApBra (the starfish Brachyury gene) demonstrated that the regions of Ap-Tbr and ApBra expression at the vegetal/posterior end of the embryo did not overlap, the region with Ap-Tbr expression being encircled by a ring-shaped region of ApBra expression. A gap without expression of the two genes was located between them, and the gap was seen around the blastoporal lip in the early gastrula. These observations suggest implication of the two T-box genes, with different roles, in starfish gastrulation.

PubMed ID: 10831044
Article link: Dev Growth Differ

Genes referenced: tbr1