Expression of Sox family genes in early lamprey development.
Uy BR., Simoes-Costa M., Sauka-Spengler T., Bronner ME.
Members of the Sox (Sry-related high mobility group box) family of transcription factors play a variety of roles during development of both vertebrates and invertebrates. A marked expansion in gene number occurred during the emergence of vertebrates, apparently via gene duplication events that are thought to have facilitated new functions. By screening a macroarrayed library as well as the lamprey genome, we have isolated genes of the Sox B, D, E and F subfamilies in the basal jawless vertebrate, lamprey. The expression patterns of all identified Sox genes were examined from gastrulation through early organogenesis (embryonic day 4-14), with particular emphasis on the neural crest, a vertebrate innovation. Coupled with phylogenetic analysis of these Sox genes, the results provide insight into gene duplication and di-vergence in paralog deployment occurring during early vertebrate evolution.