Gene Networks Database

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Genes in Development: Transcription factors



SpMsx is a homeobox gene, a member of the highly conserved Msx family of transcription factors (Dobias et al., 1997).
Tan et al., (1998) suggest that SpMsx gene may be a part of the mechanism by which the ectoderm influences both the arrangement of primary mesenchyme cells within the blastocoel and the shapes of the skeletal rods.


SpMsx contains a highly conserved 81 amino acid extended homeodomain ("Msx domain")(Dobias et al., 1997).
GenBank: 280921

Subcellular location

Expression Pattern

SpMsx gene is expressed during embryogenesis in a complex and dynamic pattern consistent with roles in the development of subpopulations of endoderm, mesoderm, and oral ectoderm.
Transcripts of the SpMsx gene are first detectable at the blastula stage, between 12 and 21 h after fertilization, they decline slightly in amount by the prism stage (60 h postfertilization).
Whole mount in situ hybridization showed that in blastula stage embryos, SpMsx transcripts are distributed througout the embryo, with the most intense signal at the vegetal plate. By the early gastrula stage, SpMsx transctipts are localized in the invaginating archenteron, but are not detectable in primary mesenchyme cells. In late gastrula, SpMsx transcripts are visible throughout archenteron and in secondary mesenchyme cells at the tip of archenteron. Oral ectoderm overlying the archenteron also contain SpMsx mRNA. By the prism stage, SpMsx transcripts are evident in the foregut, midgut and hindgut, as well as in the oral ectoderm, including the ciliary band. During development to the pluteus larva, SpMsx transcripts continue to be detectable in the gut. In addition, they were evident in the oral hood and in the elongating larval arms (Dobias et al., 1997).

mRNA level

Temporal accumulation

Method 1: RNase protection assay
Reference: Dobias et al., 1997

8 hr
12 hr
21 hr
36 hr
60 hr

Spatial localization

Method 1: Whole mount in situ hybridization
Reference: Dobias et al., 1997

Early gastrula
Late gastrula
Pluteus larva
Feeding pluteus (15 days)
Distributed through the embryo with most intence signal at the vegetal plate
Invaginating archenteron
Archenteron, secondary mesenchyme cells at the tip of archenteron, OE overlying archenteron
Foregut, midgut, hindgut, OE, including the ciliary band
Gut, oral hood, elongating larval arms
Acron. oral and anal arms, gut


Regulatory Regions

Regulatory Connections

Upstream Genes


Downstream Genes

Evolutionary Homologues



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