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Genesis 2014 Mar 01;523:251-68. doi: 10.1002/dvg.22738.
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Pattern and process during sea urchin gut morphogenesis: the regulatory landscape.

Annunziata R , Perillo M , Andrikou C , Cole AG , Martinez P , Arnone MI .

The development of the endoderm is a multistage process. From the initial specification of the endodermal domain in the embryo to the final regionalization of the gut, there are multiple stages that require the involvement of complex gene regulatory networks. In one concrete case, the sea urchin embryo, some of these stages and their genetic control are (relatively) well understood. Several studies have underscored the relevance of individual transcription factor activities in the process, but very few have focused the attention on gene interactions within specific gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Sea urchins offer an ideal system to study the different factors involved in the morphogenesis of the gut. Here we review the knowledge gained over the last 10 years on the process and its regulation, from the early specification of endodermal lineages to the late events linked to the patterning of functional domains in the gut. A lesson of remarkable importance has been learnt from comparison of the mechanisms involved in gut formation in different bilaterian animals; some of these genetic mechanisms are particularly well conserved. Patterning the gut seems to involve common molecular players and shared interactions, whether we look at mammals or echinoderms. This astounding degree of conservation reveals some key aspects of deep homology that are most probably shared by all bilaterian guts.

PubMed ID: 24376127
Article link: Genesis

Genes referenced: LOC100887844