Tomarev, SI × Callaerts, Patrick Kos, L Zinovieva, R Halder, G Gehring, W Piatigorsky, J #
Natl acad sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:94 issue:6 pages:2421-2426
Pax-6 in vertebrates and its homolog eyeless in Drosophila are known to be essential for eye development. Here we investigate the role of Pax-6 in eye development in another major systematic group, molluscs. We demonstrate that alternatively spliced RNAs derived from a single Pax-6 gene in the squid (Loligo opalescens) are expressed in the embryonic eye, olfactory organ, brain, and arms. Despite significant sequence differences between squid Pax-6 and Drosophila eyeless in the region outside the paired- and homeodomains, squid Pax 6 is able to induce the formation of ectopic eyes in Drosophila. Our results support the idea that Pax-6 related genes are necessary for eye and olfactory system formation throughout the animal kingdom.