Expression of CyI Cytoplasmic Actin Genes in Sea Urchin Development

  • Hahn, Jang-Hee (Cancer Research Institute, School of Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Raff, Rudolf A. (Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Department of Biology, Indiana University)
  • Received : 1996.08.08
  • Published : 1996.09.30


We present a study of evolutionary changes in expression of actin genes among closely related sea urchin species that exhibit different modes of early development. For this purpose, polyclonal antisera raised against peptides from the carboxyl terminus of the HeCyI cytoskeletal actin of Heliocidaris erythrogramma were used. H. erythrogramma is a direct developing sea urchin that proceeds from embryonic to adult stages without an intervening feeding larval stage. Expression patterns of the CyI actin isoform were compared with those of Heliocidaris tuberculata and to a related sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, which both produce a feeding pluteus larval stage. The CyI actin of all three species is expressed in the same cell types. However, its expression patterns have been changed with reorganization of early cell lineage differentiation, which is apparent among the three species. Thus. evolutionary changes in CyI actin gene expression patterns are correlated with not only phylogenetic relationship, but developmental mode. The implication of this observation is that evolutionary changes in expression patterns of histospecific genes may underlie the emergence of novel developmental processes.


CyI actin gene;developmental mode;evolution of gene expression;Heliocidaris


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