Suppressor of hairless activates Brachyury expression the Ciona embryo

Joseph C. Corbo, Shigeki Fujiwara, Michael Levine, Anna Di Gregorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Ciona Brachyury gene (Ci-Bra) is regulated, in part, by a 434-bp enhancer that mediates restricted expression in the notochord. Here we present evidence that a Ciona Suppressor of Hairless {Ci-Su(H)} protein functions as an activator of this enhancer. Point mutations that reduce the binding of a GST/Ci-Su(H) fusion protein in vitro diminish the expression of mutagenized Ci-Bra/lacZ transgenes in electroporated embryos. Overexpression of a Ci-Su(H) fusion protein containing the Drosophila Hairy repression domain interferes with notochord differentiation, producing mutant tadpoles with shortened tails. Expression of a constitutively activated Xotch receptor in the notochord, endoderm, and CNS also alters tail morphogenesis. These results suggest that a Notch-Su(H) pathway might participate in notochord differentiation in Ciona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-368
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 15 1998


  • Brachyury
  • Ciona intestinalis
  • Notochord
  • Suppressor of Hairless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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