ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-001101-1
Differential expression of orthologous Dlx genes in zebrafish and mice: implications for the evolution of the Dlx homeobox gene family
Quint, E., Zerucha, T., and Ekker, M.
Date: 2000
Source: The Journal of experimental zoology   288(3): 235-241 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Ekker, Marc, Quint, Elizabeth, Zerucha, Ted
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gastrula
  • Gene Duplication
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/biosynthesis*
  • Mice
  • Multigene Family*
  • Somites
  • Species Specificity
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transcription Factors/biosynthesis*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 11069141 Full text @ J. Exp. Zool.
Dlx homeobox genes of vertebrates are often organised as physically linked pairs in which the two genes are transcribed convergently (tail-to-tail arrangement). Three such Dlx pairs have been found in mouse, human, and zebrafish and are thought to have originated from the duplication of an ancestral gene pair. These pairs include Dlx1/Dlx2, Dlx7/Dlx3, and Dlx6/Dlx5 (the zebrafish orthologue of Dlx5 is named dlx4). Expression patterns of physically linked Dlx genes overlap extensively. Furthermore, orthologous Dlx genes often show highly similar expression patterns. We analysed Dlx expression during the gastrula and early somitogenesis of the mouse and zebrafish. It was found that expression of the mouse Dlx6 gene takes place in the rostral ectoderm and presumptive olfactory and otic placodes with patterns similar to the previously reported expression of the physically linked Dlx5 gene. However, we observed only very weak expression of the mouse Dlx3 gene at the same stage. This contrasts with the expression of dlx genes in zebrafish where dlx3 and dlx7, but not dlx4 and dlx6 are expressed during gastrulation in the rostral ectoderm and presumptive placodes. Thus, Dlx expression patterns at early stages are better conserved between paralogous pairs of physically linked genes than between orthologous pairs. This suggests that early expression of Dlx genes existed prior to the duplications that led to the multiple pairs of physically linked genes but was differentially conserved in different paralogs in zebrafish and mice.