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dc.contributor.authorGarstang, Myles Grant
dc.contributor.authorOsborne, Peter
dc.contributor.authorFerrier, David Ellard Keith
dc.identifier.citationGarstang , M G , Osborne , P & Ferrier , D E K 2016 , ' TCF/Lef regulates the Gsx ParaHox gene in central nervous system development in chordates ' , BMC Evolutionary Biology , vol. 16 , 57 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 241164408
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 261bdcef-d159-4975-93c4-a61f1c29cc6f
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 84960112636
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-3247-6233/work/36423813
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000371270700001
dc.descriptionThis research was supported by a BBSRC-DTG studentship to M.G.G, and Clarendon, ORS and EPA Cephalosporin scholarships to P.W.O.en
dc.description.abstractBackground The ParaHox genes play an integral role in the anterior-posterior (A-P) patterning of the nervous system and gut of most animals. The ParaHox cluster is an ideal system in which to study the evolution and regulation of developmental genes and gene clusters, as it displays similar regulatory phenomena to its sister cluster, the Hox cluster, but offers a much simpler system with only three genes. Results Using Ciona intestinalis transgenics, we isolated a regulatory element upstream of Branchiostoma floridae Gsx that drives expression within the central nervous system of Ciona embryos. The minimal amphioxus enhancer region required to drive CNS expression has been identified, along with surrounding sequence that increases the efficiency of reporter expression throughout the Ciona CNS. TCF/Lef binding sites were identified and mutagenized and found to be required to drive the CNS expression. Also, individual contributions of TCF/Lef sites varied across the regulatory region, revealing a partial division of function across the Bf-Gsx-Up regulatory element. Finally, when all TCF/Lef binding sites are mutated CNS expression is not only abolished, but a latent repressive function is also unmasked. Conclusions We have identified a B. floridae Gsx upstream regulatory element that drives CNS expression within transgenic Ciona intestinalis, and have shown that this CNS expression is dependent upon TCF/Lef binding sites. We examine the evolutionary and developmental implications of these results, and discuss the possibility of TCF/Lef not only as a regulator of chordate Gsx, but as a deeply conserved regulatory factor controlling all three ParaHox genes across the Metazoa.
dc.relation.ispartofBMC Evolutionary Biologyen
dc.rights© 2016 Garstang et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.en
dc.subjectBranchiostoma floridaeen
dc.subjectCiona intestinalisen
dc.subjectCis-regulatory elementen
dc.titleTCF/Lef regulates the Gsx ParaHox gene in central nervous system development in chordatesen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Marine Alliance for Science & Technology Scotlanden
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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