The identification of transcription factors expressed in the notochord of Ciona intestinalis adds new potential players to the brachyury gene regulatory network

Diana S. José-Edwards, Pierre Kerner, Jamie E. Kugler, Wei Deng, Di Jiang, Anna Di Gregorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The notochord is the distinctive characteristic of chordates; however, the knowledge of the complement of transcription factors governing the development of this structure is still incomplete. Here we present the expression patterns of seven transcription factor genes detected in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis at various stages of embryonic development. Four of these transcription factors, Fos-a, NFAT5, AFF and Klf15, have not been directly associated with the notochord in previous studies, while the others, including Spalt-like-a, Lmx-like, and STAT5/6-b, display evolutionarily conserved expression in this structure as well as in other domains. We examined the hierarchical relationships between these genes and the transcription factor Brachyury, which is necessary for notochord development in all chordates. We found that Ciona Brachyury regulates the expression of most, although not all, of these genes. These results shed light on the genetic regulatory program underlying notochord formation in Ciona and possibly other chordates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1805
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Volume240
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Ascidian
  • Brachyury
  • Ciona intestinalis
  • Gene network
  • Notochord
  • Transcription factor
  • Tunicate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

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