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

Detection of homeobox genes in development and evolution.

The homeobox genes encode a family of DNA-binding regulatory proteins whose function and genomic organization make them an important model system for the study of development and differentiation. Oligonucleotide primers corresponding to highly conserved regions of Antennapediaclass homeodomains were designed to detect and identify homeobox sequences in populations of DNA or RNA by means of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Here we present a survey of sequences detected by PCR using an initial set of primers (HoxA and HoxB) based on an early nucleotide consensus for vertebrate Antennapedia-class homeodomains. Several novel sequences are reported from both mouse genomic DNA and RNA from the developing mouse telencephalon. Forebrain-derived clones are similar to the chicken CHox7, Drosophila H2.0, and mouse Hlx genes. PCR also proved to be a rapid method for identifying homeobox sequences from diverse metazoan species. Cloning of three Antennapedia-related sequences from cnidarians provides evidence of ancient roles for homeobox genes early in metazoan evolution.[1]


  1. Detection of homeobox genes in development and evolution. Murtha, M.T., Leckman, J.F., Ruddle, F.H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1991) [Pubmed]
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