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J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(2), 19; doi:10.3390/jdb4020019

Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

1
Shigeharu Takiya, Division of Biological Sciences and Center for Genome Dynamics, Faculty of Science, Hokkaido University, North 10, West 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan
2
Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University, North 10, West 8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan
3
Transgenic Silkworm Research Unit, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 1-2 Owashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8634, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Vincenzo Zappavigna and Simon J. Conway
Received: 29 February 2016 / Revised: 8 May 2016 / Accepted: 17 May 2016 / Published: 25 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hox Genes and Development)
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Abstract

The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP) axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp) directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM)-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh) regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins. View Full-Text
Keywords: Antp; Bombyx mori; fibroin; homeodomain; Hox genes; promoter element; sericin; silk gland; silkworm Antp; Bombyx mori; fibroin; homeodomain; Hox genes; promoter element; sericin; silk gland; silkworm
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Takiya, S.; Tsubota, T.; Kimoto, M. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori. J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4, 19.

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