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Lineage-specific gene expression and the regulative capacities of the sea urchin embryo: a proposed mechanism

Davidson, Eric H. (1989) Lineage-specific gene expression and the regulative capacities of the sea urchin embryo: a proposed mechanism. Development, 105 (3). pp. 421-445. ISSN 0950-1991.

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Three aspects of early sea urchin development are reviewed, and conclusions derived that lead to a unified concept of how the initial specifications of differential gene activity may occur in this embryo. i. The embryo has an invariant cell lineage, and the lineage founder cells can be considered as regulatory spatial domains. That is, from each of these cells descend clones of progeny the members of which express the same set of lineage-specific genes. ii. From the extensive classical literature on blastomere plasticity, and some key modern experiments, are derived a system of inductive blastomere interactions, which accounts for the conditionality of lineage founder cell specification. That is, the fates of many of the lineage founder cells can apparently be altered if the normal spatial interrelationships within the embryo are perturbed. iii. Recent studies have been carried out by gene transfer, and are supported by in vitro analyses of DNA-protein interactions in the regulatory regions of two genes that are expressed in a lineage- specific manner. Expression of both of these markers of cell fate specification is controlled by diffusible DNA-binding factors (i.e. within each nucleus). A molecular mechanism is proposed, based on inductive effects on gene regulatory factors, which in principle provides a specific explanation of the regulative capacities for which this embryo is famous.

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Additional Information:© 1989 Company of Biologists Ltd. Accepted 15 December 1988. I would like to acknowledge with gratitude the perspicacious and diverse critical reviews, from which this manuscript and its author have benefitted immeasureably, that the following colleagues have graciously provided: Professors Fred Wilt (UC Berkeley); Doug Melton (Harvard University); Roy Britten (Caltech); Paul Sternberg (Caltech); Ellen Rothenberg (Caltech); and my associates Drs Frank Calzone, Andrew Cameron, and Barbara Hough-Evans. Research from this laboratory was supported by NIH Grant HD-05753.
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Subject Keywords:lineage-specific gene expression; regulation; sea urchin embryo; DNA; protein
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120510-091709008
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:31403
Deposited On:10 May 2012 18:03
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:51

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