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Elife 2015 Jul 28;4. doi: 10.7554/eLife.07343.
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Logics and properties of a genetic regulatory program that drives embryonic muscle development in an echinoderm.

Andrikou C , Pai CY , Su YH , Arnone MI .

Evolutionary origin of muscle is a central question when discussing mesoderm evolution. Developmental mechanisms underlying somatic muscle development have mostly been studied in vertebrates and fly where multiple signals and hierarchic genetic regulatory cascades selectively specify myoblasts from a pool of naive mesodermal progenitors. However, due to the increased organismic complexity and distant phylogenetic position of the two systems, a general mechanistic understanding of myogenesis is still lacking. In this study, we propose a gene regulatory network (GRN) model that promotes myogenesis in the sea urchin embryo, an early branching deuterostome. A fibroblast growth factor signaling and four Forkhead transcription factors consist the central part of our model and appear to orchestrate the myogenic process. The topological properties of the network reveal dense gene interwiring and a multilevel transcriptional regulation of conserved and novel myogenic genes. Finally, the comparison of the myogenic network architecture among different animal groups highlights the evolutionary plasticity of developmental GRNs.

PubMed ID: 26218224
PMC ID: PMC4549668
Article link: Elife

Species referenced: Echinodermata
Genes referenced: ehfl elk1 erg ets1 fgf fgfr3 foxa1 foxc1 foxf1 foxl1 foxy gcml LOC100887844 LOC100890063 LOC100893907 LOC105442066 LOC115918442 LOC115919910 LOC575170 LOC576066 LOC577317 LOC583082 LOC590297 LOC591624 LOC594566 mos pitx2 pole six1 sox9 tbx3l tubgcp2
Antibodies: phospho-elk1 Ab3

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Amin, A conserved Six-Eya cassette acts downstream of Wnt signaling to direct non-myogenic versus myogenic fates in the C. elegans postembryonic mesoderm. 2009, Pubmed