The chicken homeo box genes CHox1 and CHox3: cloning, sequencing and expression during embryogenesis

Zehava Rangini, Ayala Frumkin, Gilat Shani, Michal Guttmann, Hefzibah Eyal-Giladi, Yosef Gruenbaum, Abraham Fainsod*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Several Drosophila genes involved in the control of segmentation and segment identity share a 183-bp conserved sequence termed homeo box. Homeo box sequences have been detected and cloned from the genomes of insects like Drosophila to vertebrates such as mouse and man. Two chicken homeo box genes CHox1 and CHox3, are described. Cloning of the CHox1 and CHox3 homeo boxes was performed using Drosophila and murine homeo box sequences as probes under low-stringency conditions. Analysis of both chicken homeo box sequences revealed them to be homeo boxes that have diverged from the Antennapedia class with homologies to homeo boxes of other organisms in the range of 75-42% at the nucleotide level and 69-41% at the protein level. Analysis of CHox3 expression during early embryo development showed that the gene codes for five transcripts 1.3, 1.9, 2.6, 5.6 and 7.9 kb in size. Three of the transcripts (1.3, 1.9 and 5.6 kb) are also recognized by a flanking non-homeo box containing probe. The levels of the different transcripts change during the first five days of development. The most abundant transcripts (1.3 and 1.9 kb) are already present at the time the egg is laid. Their transcription peaks at day 1 of incubation and then decreases. The CHox1 transcripts are present at very low levels between days 2.5 and 4 of development. These two chicken genes represent bona fide Hox genes in a branch of vertebrates that evolved parallel to mammals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Mar 1989


  • Antennapedia
  • Gallus domesticus
  • embryo development
  • gene evolution
  • phage λ vector
  • recombinant DNA


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