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Thread: Why are hox genes so widely conserved among vertebrates?

  1. #1 Why are hox genes so widely conserved among vertebrates? 
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    Could someone explain the molecular mechanisms controlling Hox gene colinearity?


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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    It might be recommendable to check these:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382278/
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...34580705004843


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    The hox genes are a group of genes that control the "body plan" of an organism. That is, the hox genes are what cause our arms to develop where they are, and to grow our heads on top and legs on bottom. Imagine if a human was born with mutated hox genes. How might they appear?

    I'm also guessing (I have no source to back this up, only basic genetic knowledge, so if someone could help me out here...) that developing embyros at least in humans with mutated hox genes (drosophila will survive with mutated hox genes, I believe) are somehow impaired in their viability and likely to survive. Less survival means less likely to pass a mutation down to progeny, and thus the mutation will not be passed on. This explanation is just my guess as to why they are so conserved, as the title of this thread asks. As for the molecular mechanisms determining collinearity, I would start with the articles suggested by Cogito Ergo Sum, they look pretty interesting and might lead you to a good place to answer this question
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