Gene Networks Database

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus Genes in Development: Receptors



SpCOUP-TF encodes a transcription factor. SpCOUP-TF gene is a highly conserved sea urchin homologue of the vertebrate COUP-TFs and the Drosophila seven up subfamily of transcription factors, which are members of the orphan steroid hormon receptors.
A possible function of this factor is the determination of neurogenic progenitor cells, which give rise to the larva nervous system (Vlahou et al., 1996).


SpCOUP-TF is the steroid-thyroid-retinoic acid hormone (Vlahou et al., 1996).
GenBank: 422530

Subcellular location

Oocyte and egg cytoplasm, embryonic nuclei (Vlahou et al., 1996).

Expression Pattern

The SpCOUP-TF gene is expressed during oogenesis and its transcripts are stored in the egg as maternal mRNA (Chan et al., 1992).
The whole mount in situ hybridization indicates that the maternal SpCOUP-TF mRNA is placed in the egg in a fixed position relative to the embryonic axes, i.e. lateral to the animal-vegetal (A/V) and at 45 degree angle to the oral-aboral (O/A) axis.
Thus the SpCOUP-TF mRNA is the first sea urchin maternal mRNA encoding a transcription factor that is specifically localized with respect to both embryonic axes in the egg (Vlahou et al., 1996).
SpCOUP-TF gene is activated during embryonic development and its mRNA has been detected at all stages up to the pluteus larva (Chan et al., 1992).
The embryonic expression of the SpCOUP-TF gene is spatially restricted to the oral ectoderm of the early embryo (blastula and gastrula stage) and, at later stages (pluteus), to the cells of the ciliated band, the neurogenic cell lineage.

Spatial localization

Method: in situ hybridization
Reference: Vlahou et al., 1996

Pluteus larva
Tissue One side towards the cortex region Lateral to A/V axis and 45 degree clockwise to O/A axis Lateral to A/V axis and 45 degree clockwise to O/A axis
Oral ectoderm
Oral ectoderm
Oral ectoderm
Neurogenic ciliated band



Regulatory Regions

Regulatory Connections

Upstream Genes


Downstream Genes


Evolutionary homologues



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