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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 Jun 01;10722:10103-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1004824107.
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Information processing at the foxa node of the sea urchin endomesoderm specification network.

de-Leon SB , Davidson EH .

The foxa regulatory gene is of central importance for endoderm specification across Bilateria, and this gene lies at an essential node of the well-characterized sea urchin endomesoderm gene regulatory network (GRN). Here we experimentally dissect the cis-regulatory system that controls the complex pattern of foxa expression in these embryos. Four separate cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) cooperate to control foxa expression in different spatial domains of the endomesoderm, and at different times. A detailed mutational analysis revealed the inputs to each of these cis-regulatory modules. The complex and dynamic expression of foxa is regulated by a combination of repressors, a permissive switch, and multiple activators. A mathematical kinetic model was applied to study the dynamic response of foxa cis-regulatory modules to transient inputs. This study shed light on the mesoderm-endoderm fate decision and provides a functional explanation, in terms of the genomic regulatory code, for the spatial and temporal expression of a key developmental control gene.

PubMed ID: 20479235
PMC ID: PMC2890477
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: foxa1 LOC100887844 LOC575170

References [+] :
Arenas-Mena, Hindgut specification and cell-adhesion functions of Sphox11/13b in the endoderm of the sea urchin embryo. 2006, Pubmed, Echinobase