Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published November 4, 2022 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Homologous gene regulatory networks control development of apical organs and brains in Bilateria


Apical organs are relatively simple larval nervous systems. The extent to which apical organs are evolutionarily related to the more complex nervous systems of other animals remains unclear. To identify common developmental mechanisms, we analyzed the gene regulatory network (GRN) controlling the development of the apical organ in sea urchins. We characterized the developmental expression of 30 transcription factors and identified key regulatory functions for FoxQ2, Hbn, Delta/Notch signaling, and SoxC in the patterning of the apical organ and the specification of neurons. Almost the entire set of apical transcription factors is expressed in the nervous system of worms, flies, zebrafish, frogs, and mice. Furthermore, a regulatory module controlling the axial patterning of the vertebrate brain is expressed in the ectoderm of sea urchin embryos. We conclude that GRNs controlling the formation of bilaterian nervous systems share a common origin and that the apical GRN likely resembles an ancestral regulatory program.

Additional Information

© 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). In memory of E. H. Davidson, whose ambition to obtain a complete understanding of the GRNs for the early sea urchin embryo inspired this project. This work was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants HD037105 and HD095982 awarded to I.S.P. Author contributions: Conceptualization: R.F. and I.S.P. Investigation: R.F. Formal analysis: R.F. and I.S.P. Visualization and figure preparation: R.F. Methodology: R.F. and I.S.P. Writing—original draft: R.F. and I.S.P. Writing—review and editing R.F. and I.S.P. Supervision: I.S.P. Funding acquisition: I.S.P. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Attached Files

Published - sciadv.abo2416.pdf

Supplemental Material - sciadv.abo2416_sm.pdf


Files (5.3 MB)
Name Size Download all
4.2 MB Preview Download
1.2 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 25, 2023