Common developmental genetic mechanisms for patterning invertebrate and vertebrate brains

Kammermeier, L. and Reichert, H.. (2001) Common developmental genetic mechanisms for patterning invertebrate and vertebrate brains. Brain research bulletin, Vol. 55, H. 6. pp. 675-682.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250945

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Recent genetic studies on embryonic brain development in the fly Drosophila melanogaster together with investigations on early morphogenesis and patterning in the embryonic brain of the mouse revealed developmental mechanisms that are strikingly similar in insects and mammals. The homeotic (Hox) genes are expressed in a virtually colinear anteroposterior pattern in the developing posterior brain of insects and mammals, where they are required for the specification of segmental neuronal identity. The otd/Otx cephalic gap genes are expressed in the anterior brain of insects and mammals and are of central importance for its formation because in both phyla loss of otd/Otx2 causes the loss of the entire rostral brain. Specific Pax genes are involved in numerous aspects of brain development in both phyla. These developmental genetic findings reveal a striking evolutionary conservation of cephalic gap gene, homeotic gene, and Pax gene action in embryonic brain development that extends beyond gene structure to encompass patterned expression and function. This comparative evidence indicates that the genetic programs which direct embryonic brain development are remarkably conserved and lends further support to the hypothesis that a common molecular bauplan underlies brain development in invertebrates and vertebrates. In consequence, it seems increasingly likely that both modern brain types share their evolutionary origin in a common ancestral bilaterian brain which was established before the protostome-deuterostome divergence over 600 million years ago.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Molecular Zoology (Reichert)
UniBasel Contributors:Reichert, Heinrich
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:19
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:16

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