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

A maternal homeobox gene, Bombyx caudal, forms both mRNA and protein concentration gradients spanning anteroposterior axis during gastrulation.

We have isolated a caudal ( cad) homologue from a cDNA library of Bombyx mori embryos. The Bombyx cad cDNA encodes a protein of 244 amino acids. The homology between Drosophila and Bombyx homeodomains is 80%. Similar to Drosophila cad, there is no YPWM peptide sequence along the upstream of homeodomain. Northern blot hybridization with a Bombyx cad probe revealed the presence of single maternal transcript of 2.3 kb. A stronger signal of the transcripts was detected in unfertilized eggs and in eggs up to 36 hours after deposition. The transcripts decreased rapidly by 2 days and a weak signal was maintained until hatching. To analyse its spatial expression pattern, we have established a novel frozen sectioning method for in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry experiments. The results showed that Bombyx cad transcripts accumulated first in the nurse cells and transferred into the oocyte at a defined time during oogenesis. The maternal transcripts of Bombyx cad formed a concentration gradient spanning the anteroposterior axis during the gastrulation stage and were restricted to the anal pad, the most posterior domain, after 2 days of embryogenesis; the Drosophila cad mRNA revealed the corresponding expression profile during the syncytial blastoderm stage. The Bombyx cad protein was not detected in the ovary and the first 9 hours of eggs, but was first detected evenly during cellular blastoderm stage. During gastrulation, Bombyx cad protein concentration gradients shifted along the anteroposterior axis coinciding with the shifting of the mRNA concentration gradients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


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