Conserved usage of gap and homeotic genes in patterning the CNS

Heinrich Reichert, Antonio Simeone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The homeotic and cephalic gap genes play central roles in the specification of the anteroposterior animal body axis. Genetic studies carried out in Drosophila and mouse now demonstrate that these genes are also involved in embryonic brain development. The homeotic genes act in posterior brain patterning, and the cephalic gap genes act in anterior brain patterning. Moreover, striking cross-phylum gene replacement experiments show that invertebrate and vertebrate members of the orthodenticle gene family can functionally replace each other. These findings indicate that the genetic mechanisms involved in embryonic brain development are conserved and suggest a common evolutionary origin of the insect and vertebrate brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-595
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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