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Letters to Nature
Nature 321, 251 - 253 (15 May 1986); doi:10.1038/321251a0

Phylogenetic distribution of Antennapedia-like homoeo boxes

Peter W. H. Holland & Brigid L. M. Hogan

Laboratory of Molecular Embryology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK

The homoeo box is a conserved protein-coding DNA sequence present in several genes in arthropods, annelids and vertebrates1–4. Two distinct classes of homoeo box have been identified–the Antennapedia (Antp) class1,5 and the engrailed class6–8. In insects, both classes are found in genes involved in regulating development. We have therefore investigated the phylogenetic distribution of Antp-like homoeo boxes to explore the possibility of a link between their presence and developmental strategy1,9–11. The distribution data also give important insight into the origin of homoeo boxes and the phytogeny of the animal kingdom.

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