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Genesis 2019 Jun 01;576:e23302. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23302.
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cis-Regulatory analysis for later phase of anterior neuroectoderm-specific foxQ2 expression in sea urchin embryos.

Yamazaki A , Yamamoto A , Yaguchi J , Yaguchi S .

The specification of anterior neuroectoderm is controlled by a highly conserved molecular mechanism in bilaterians. A forkhead family gene, foxQ2, is known to be one of the pivotal regulators, which is zygotically expressed in this region during embryogenesis of a broad range of bilaterians. However, what controls the expression of this essential factor has remained unclear to date. To reveal the regulatory mechanism of foxQ2, we performed cis-regulatory analysis of two foxQ2 genes, foxQ2a and foxQ2b, in a sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus. In sea urchin embryos, foxQ2 is initially expressed in the entire animal hemisphere and subsequently shows narrower expression restricted to the anterior pole region. In this study, as a first step to understand the foxQ2 regulation, we focused on the later restricted expression and analyzed the upstream cis-regulatory sequences of foxQ2a and foxQ2b by using the constructs fused to short half-life green fluorescent protein. Based on deletion and mutation analyses of both foxQ2, we identified each of the five regulatory sequences, which were 4-9 bp long. Neither of the regulatory sequences contains any motifs for ectopic activation or spatial repression, suggesting that later mRNA localization is regulated in situ. We also suggest that the three amino acid loop extension-class homeobox gene Meis is involved in the maintenance of foxQ2b, the expression of which is dominant during embryogenesis.

PubMed ID: 31025827
Article link: Genesis

Genes referenced: foxe3l LOC100887844 meis1 pole stk36
Morpholinos: meis1 MO1