Homeobox


Homeobox

A homeobox is a DNA sequence found within genes that are involved in the regulation of patterns of development (morphogenesis) in animals, fungi and plants. Genes that have a homeobox are called homeobox genes and form the homeobox gene family.

The most studied and the most conserved group of homeodomain protein are the Hox genes, which control segmental patterning during development; however, not all homeodomain proteins are Hox proteins.

Discovery

They were discovered independently in 1983 by Walter Jakob Gehring and his colleagues at the University of Basel, Switzerland, and Matthew Scott and Amy Weiner, who were then working with Thomas Kaufman at Indiana University in Bloomington. [cite journal
journal=Nature
year=1984
volume=308
issue=5958
pages=428–33
title=A conserved DNA sequence in homoeotic genes of the Drosophila Antennapedia and bithorax complexes
author=McGinnis W
coauthors=Levine MS, Hafen E, Kuroiwa A, Gehring WJ
pmid=6323992 | doi = 10.1038/308428a0
] [cite journal
journal=PNAS
year=1984
volume=81
issue=13
pages=4115–9
title=Structural relationships among genes that control development: sequence homology between the Antennapedia, Ultrabithorax, and fushi tarazu loci of Drosophila
author=Scott MP
coauthors=Weiner AJ
pmid=6330741
doi = 10.1073/pnas.81.13.4115
]

Homeodomain

A homeobox is about 180 base pairs long; it encodes a protein domain (the homeodomain) which can bind DNA.

Homeobox genes encode transcription factors which typically switch on cascades of other genes. The homeodomain binds DNA in a specific manner.

However, the specificity of a single homeodomain protein is usually not enough to recognize only its desired target genes. Most of the time, homeodomain proteins act in the promoter region of their target genes as complexes with other transcription factors, often also homeodomain proteins. Such complexes have a much higher target specificity than a single homeodomain protein.

Hox genes

Molecular evidence shows that some limited number of Hox genes have existed in the Cnidaria since before the earliest true Bilatera, making these genes pre-Paleozoic. [cite journal| last = Ryan |first = Joseph F |coauthors = Maureen E. Mazza, Kevin Pang, David Q. Matus, Andreas D. Baxevanis, Mark Q. Martindale, John R. Finnertyl | title = Pre-Bilaterian Origins of the Hox Cluster and the Hox Code: Evidence from the Sea Anemone, Nematostella vectensis | journal = PLoS ONE | url = http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0000153 | year = 2007 | volume = 2 | pages = e153 | doi = 10.1371/journal.pone.0000153 | issue = 1 | date = 2007-01 | unused_data = |accessdate 2008-04-30] They are essential metazoan genes as they determine the identity of embryonic regions along the anterio-posterior axis.

In vertebrates the 4 paralogue clusters are partially redundant in function, but have also acquired several derived functions in particular HoxA and HoxD specify the segment identity along the limb axis.

The main interest in this set of genes stems is their unique behaviour. They are mostly found clustered together and the order they are found generally matches the order of regions they affect and their timing, a phenomenon called colinearity. Due to this balance, generally, when one gene is lost the segment becomes a more anterior one, while a gain of function mutant (ectopic) will be more posterior, famous examples of these are Antennapedia and bithorax in Drosophila.

Diversity

The homeobox genes were first found in the fruit fly "Drosophila melanogaster" and have subsequently been identified in many other species, from insects to reptiles and mammals.

Homeobox genes were previously only identified in bilaterians but recently, cnidarians have also been found to contain homeobox domains and the "missing link" in the evolution between the two has been identified.

Homeobox genes have even been found in fungi, for example the unicellular yeasts, and in plants.

Plants

The well known homeotic genes in plants (MADS-box genes) are not homologous to Hox genes in animals. Plants and animals do not share the same homeotic genes, and this suggests that homeotic genes arose independently in the early evolution of animals and plants.

Human genes

Humans generally contain homeobox genes in four clusters:

There is also a "distal-less homeobox" family: DLX1, DLX2, DLX3, DLX4, DLX, and DLX6.

"HESX homeobox 1" is also known as HESX1.

Short stature homeobox gene is also known as SHOX. also a home gene controls the diffirensation of cells and tissue in the embryo.

Mutations

Mutations to homeobox genes can produce easily visible phenotypic changes.

Two examples of homeobox mutations in the above-mentioned fruit fly are legs where the antennae should be (antennapedia), and a second pair of wings.

Duplication of homeobox genes can produce new body segments, and such duplications are likely to have been important in the evolution of segmented animals.

Interestingly, there is one insect family, the xyelid sawflies, in which both the antennae and mouthparts are remarkably leg-like in structure. This is not uncommon in arthropods as all arthropod appendages are homologous.

Regulation

The regulation of Hox genes is highly complex and involves reciprocal interactions, mostly inhibitory. Drosophila is known to use the Polycomb and Trithorax Complexes to maintain the expression of Hox genes after the down-regulation of the pair-rule and gap genes that occurs during larval development. Polycomb-group proteins can silence the HOX genes by modulation of chromatin structure.cite book |chapterurl=http://www.horizonpress.com/rnareg|author= Portoso M and Cavalli G|year=2008|chapter=The Role of RNAi and Noncoding RNAs in Polycomb Mediated Control of Gene Expression and Genomic Programming|title=RNA and the Regulation of Gene Expression: A Hidden Layer of Complexity|publisher=Caister Academic Press|id= [http://www.horizonpress.com/rnareg ISBN 978-1-904455-25-7] ]

ee also

*Evolutionary developmental biology
*Body plan

References

*
*cite journal
journal=Gene
year=2007
month=Jan
volume=387
issue=1-2
pages=21–30
title=Missing link in the evolution of Hox clusters
author=Ogishima S
coauthors=Tanaka H.
pmid=17098381
doi = 10.1016/j.gene.2006.08.011

External links

* [http://homeodb.cbi.pku.edu.cn/ Zhong YF, Butts T, Holland PWH, 2008. HomeoDB: a database of homeobox genes diversity]
* [http://www.homeobox.cjb.net/ Homeodomain Resources provided by Thomas R. Bürglin]
* [http://www.hhmi.org/genesweshare/b120.html Discovering the Homeobox]
*


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • homeobox — homeobox. См. гомеобокс. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • homeobox — [hō′mē ō bäks΄] n. any of a group of DNA sequences found in certain genes and involved in determining the development of specific organs, tissues, etc. of animal embryos * * * …   Universalium

  • homeobox — [hō′mē ō bäks΄] n. any of a group of DNA sequences found in certain genes and involved in determining the development of specific organs, tissues, etc. of animal embryos …   English World dictionary

  • Homeobox — Un homeobox es una secuencia de ADN que forma parte de genes implicados en la regulación del desarrollo (morfogénesis) de los animales. Los genes que tiene un homeobox se llaman genes homeóticos y forman la familia de genes homeóticos HOM/ HOX.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Homeobox — Un homeobox es una secuencia de ADN que forma parte de genes implicados en la regulación del desarrollo (morfogénesis) de los anímales. Los genes que tiene un homeobox se llaman genes homeobox y forman la familia de genes homeobox. Fueron… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • homeobox — (= homoeobox) Conserved DNA sequence originally detected by DNA DNA hybridization in many of the genes that give rise to homeotic mutants and segmentation mutants in Drosophila. The homeobox consists of about 180 nucleotides coding for a sequence …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • Homeobox — Homéoboîte et homéodomaine Homéodomaine de la protéine antennapedia la drosophile se fixant par complémentarité des formes à une section d ADN. Une homéoboîte (appelée aussi homeobox) est une section d ADN qu on retrouve dans les gènes impliqués… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Homéobox — Homéoboîte et homéodomaine Homéodomaine de la protéine antennapedia la drosophile se fixant par complémentarité des formes à une section d ADN. Une homéoboîte (appelée aussi homeobox) est une section d ADN qu on retrouve dans les gènes impliqués… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • homeobox — noun one of various similar homeotic genes that are involved in bodily segmentation during embryonic development • Syn: ↑homeobox gene • Hypernyms: ↑homeotic gene …   Useful english dictionary

  • homeobox — noun Date: 1984 a short usually highly conserved DNA sequence in various eukaryotic genes and especially homeotic genes that encodes a DNA binding amino acid domain of some proteins …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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