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Dev Genes Evol 2010 Dec 01;2207-8:221-34. doi: 10.1007/s00427-010-0343-3.
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Developmental expression of COE across the Metazoa supports a conserved role in neuronal cell-type specification and mesodermal development.

Jackson DJ , Meyer NP , Seaver E , Pang K , McDougall C , Moy VN , Gordon K , Degnan BM , Martindale MQ , Burke RD , Peterson KJ .

The transcription factor COE (collier/olfactory-1/early B cell factor) is an unusual basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor as it lacks a basic domain and is maintained as a single copy gene in the genomes of all currently analysed non-vertebrate Metazoan genomes. Given the unique features of the COE gene, its proposed ancestral role in the specification of chemosensory neurons and the wealth of functional data from vertebrates and Drosophila, the evolutionary history of the COE gene can be readily investigated. We have examined the ways in which COE expression has diversified among the Metazoa by analysing its expression from representatives of four disparate invertebrate phyla: Ctenophora (Mnemiopsis leidyi); Mollusca (Haliotis asinina); Annelida (Capitella teleta and Chaetopterus) and Echinodermata (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). In addition, we have studied COE function with knockdown experiments in S. purpuratus, which indicate that COE is likely to be involved in repressing serotonergic cell fate in the apical ganglion of dipleurula larvae. These analyses suggest that COE has played an important role in the evolution of ectodermally derived tissues (likely primarily nervous tissues) and mesodermally derived tissues. Our results provide a broad evolutionary foundation from which further studies aimed at the functional characterisation and evolution of COE can be investigated.

PubMed ID: 21069538
PMC ID: PMC2990012
Article link: Dev Genes Evol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Echinodermata
Genes referenced: ebf2 h2a LOC115919910 LOC583082 tekt3
Antibodies: LOC115917880 Ab1
Morpholinos: pou1f1 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Adamska, The evolutionary origin of hedgehog proteins. 2007, Pubmed