The role of bHLH genes in ear development and evolution

Revisiting a 10-year-old hypothesis

Bernd Fritzsch, Daniel F. Eberl, Kirk Beisel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In mouse ear development, two bHLH genes, Atoh1 and Neurog1, are essential for hair cell and sensory neuron differentiation. Evolution converted the original simple atonal-dependent neurosensory cell formation program of diploblasts into the derived developmental program of vertebrates that generates two neurosensory cell types, the sensory neuron and the sensory hair cell. This transformation was achieved through gene multiplication in ancestral triploblasts resulting in the expansion of the atonal bHLH gene family. Novel genes of the Neurogenin and NeuroD families are upregulated prior to the expression of Atoh1. Recent data suggest that NeuroD and Neurogenin were lost or their function in neuronal specification reduced in flies, thus changing our perception of the evolution of these genes. This sequence of expression changes was accompanied by modification of the E-box binding sites of these genes to regulate different downstream genes and to form inhibitory loops among each other, thus fine-tuning expression transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3089-3099
Number of pages11
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Volume67
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Fingerprint

Ear
Genes
Sensory Receptor Cells
E-Box Elements
Diptera
Vertebrates
Binding Sites

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

The role of bHLH genes in ear development and evolution : Revisiting a 10-year-old hypothesis. / Fritzsch, Bernd; Eberl, Daniel F.; Beisel, Kirk.

In: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, Vol. 67, No. 18, 09.2010, p. 3089-3099.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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