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Open Access Commentary

Time is of the essence for ParaHox homeobox gene clustering

Myles Garstang and David EK Ferrier*

Author Affiliations

The Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, East Sands, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8LB, UK

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BMC Biology 2013, 11:72  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-72

Published: 27 June 2013

Abstract

ParaHox genes, and their evolutionary sisters the Hox genes, are integral to patterning the anterior-posterior axis of most animals. Like the Hox genes, ParaHox genes can be clustered and exhibit the phenomenon of colinearity - gene order within the cluster matching gene activation. Two new instances of ParaHox clustering provide the first examples of intact clusters outside chordates, with gene expression lending weight to the argument that temporal colinearity is the key to understanding clustering.

See research articles: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/11/68 webcite and http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/129 webcite