Murine Otx1 and Drosophila otd genes share conserved genetic functions required in invertebrate and vertebrate brain development

Acampora, D. and Avantaggiato, V. and Tuorto, F. and Barone, P. and Reichert, H. and Finkelstein, R. and Simeone, A.. (1998) Murine Otx1 and Drosophila otd genes share conserved genetic functions required in invertebrate and vertebrate brain development. Development, Vol. 125, H. 9. pp. 1691-1702.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5250959

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Despite the obvious differences in anatomy between invertebrate and vertebrate brains, several genes involved in the development of both brain types belong to the same family and share similarities in expression patterns. Drosophila orthodenticle (otd) and murine Otx genes exemplify this, both in terms of expression patterns and mutant phenotypes. In contrast, sequence comparison of OTD and OTX gene products indicates that homology is restricted to the homeodomain suggesting that protein divergence outside the homeodomain might account for functional differences acquired during brain evolution. In order to gain insight into this possibility, we replaced the murine Otx1 gene with a Drosophila otd cDNA. Strikingly, epilepsy and corticogenesis defects due to the absence of Otx1 were fully rescued in homozygous otd mice. A partial rescue was also observed for the impairments of mesencephalon, eye and lachrymal gland. In contrast, defects of the inner ear were not improved suggesting a vertebrate Otx1-specific function involved in morphogenesis of this structure. Furthermore, otd, like Otx1, was able to cooperate genetically with Otx2 in brain patterning, although with reduced efficiency. These data favour an extended functional conservation between Drosophila otd and murine Otx1 genes and support the idea that conserved genetic functions required in mammalian brain development evolved in a primitive ancestor of both flies and mice.
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
Publisher:Company of Biologists
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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