The identification of transcription factors expressed in the notochord of Ciona intestinalis adds new potential players to the brachyury gene regulatory network.
IF: 2.842
Cited by: 32


The notochord is the distinctive characteristic of chordates; however, the knowledge of the complement of transcription factors governing the development of this structure is still incomplete. Here we present the expression patterns of seven transcription factor genes detected in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis at various stages of embryonic development. Four of these transcription factors, Fos-a, NFAT5, AFF and Klf15, have not been directly associated with the notochord in previous studies, while the others, including Spalt-like-a, Lmx-like, and STAT5/6-b, display evolutionarily conserved expression in this structure as well as in other domains. We examined the hierarchical relationships between these genes and the transcription factor Brachyury, which is necessary for notochord development in all chordates. We found that Ciona Brachyury regulates the expression of most, although not all, of these genes. These results shed light on the genetic regulatory program underlying notochord formation in Ciona and possibly other chordates.


Gene Expression

MeSH terms

Ciona intestinalis
Fetal Proteins
Gene Regulatory Networks
In Situ Hybridization
T-Box Domain Proteins
Transcription Factors


José-Edwards, Diana S
Kerner, Pierre
Kugler, Jamie E
Deng, Wei
Jiang, Di
Di Gregorio, Anna

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