Comparative studies on mammalian Hoxc8 early enhancer sequence reveal a baleen whale-specific deletion of a cis-acting element

Cooduvalli S. Shashikant, Chang B. Kim, Marc A. Borbély, Wayne C.H. Wang, Frank H. Ruddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Variations in regulatory regions of developmental control genes have been implicated in the divergence of axial morphologies. To find potentially significant changes in cis-regulatory regions, we compared nucleotide sequences and activities of mammalian Hoxc8 early enhancers. The nucleotide sequence of the early enhancer region is extremely conserved among mammalian clades, with five previously described cis-acting elements, A-E, being invariant. However, a 4-bp deletion within element C of the Hoxc8 early enhancer sequence is observed in baleen whales. When assayed in transgenic mouse embryos, a baleen whale enhancer (unlike other mammalian enhancers) directs expression of the reporter gene to more posterior regions of the neural tube but fails to direct expression to posterior mesoderm. We suggest that regulation of Hoxc8 in baleen whales differs from other mammalian species and may be associated with variation in axial morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15446-15451
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume95
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 22 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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