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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential expression of hoxa2a and hoxa2b genes during striped bass embryonic development.

Here, we report the cloning and expression analysis of two previously uncharacterized paralogs group 2 Hox genes, striped bass hoxa2a and hoxa2b, and the developmental regulatory gene egr2. We demonstrate that both Hox genes are expressed in the rhombomeres of the developing hindbrain and the pharyngeal arches albeit with different spatio-temporal distributions relative to one another. While both hoxa2a and hoxa2b share the r1/r2 anterior boundary of expression characteristic of the hoxa2 paralog genes of other species, hoxa2a gene expression extends throughout the hindbrain, whereas hoxa2b gene expression is restricted to the r2-r5 region. Egr2, which is used in this study as an early developmental marker of rhombomeres 3 and 5, is expressed in two distinct bands with a location and spacing typical for these two rhombomeres in other species. Within the pharyngeal arches, hoxa2a is expressed at higher levels in the second pharyngeal arch, while hoxa2b is more strongly expressed in the posterior arches. Further, hoxa2b expression within the arches becomes undetectable at 60hpf, while hoxa2a expression is maintained at least up until the beginning of chondrogenesis. Comparison of the striped bass HoxA cluster paralog group 2 (PG2) genes to their orthologs and trans-orthologs shows that the striped bass hoxa2a gene expression pattern is similar to the overall expression pattern described for the hoxa2 genes in the lobe-finned fish lineage and for the hoxa2b gene from zebrafish. It is notable that the pharyngeal arch expression pattern of the striped bass hoxa2a gene is more divergent from its sister paralog, hoxa2b, than from the zebrafish hoxa2b gene. Overall, our results suggest that differences in the Hox PG2 gene complement of striped bass and zebrafish affects both their rhombomeric and pharyngeal arch expression patterns and may account for the similarities in pharyngeal arch expression between striped bass hoxa2a and zebrafish hoxa2b.[1]


  1. Differential expression of hoxa2a and hoxa2b genes during striped bass embryonic development. Scemama, J.L., Vernon, J.L., Stellwag, E.J. Gene Expr. Patterns (2006) [Pubmed]
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