Hemps, a novel EGF-like protein, plays a central role in ascidian metamorphosis

Eri, Rajaraman, Arnold, Jeremy M., Hinman, Veronica F., Green, Kathryn M., Jones, Malcolm K., Degnan, Bernard M. and Lavin, Martin F. (1999) Hemps, a novel EGF-like protein, plays a central role in ascidian metamorphosis. Development, 126 24: 5809-5818.

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Author Eri, Rajaraman
Arnold, Jeremy M.
Hinman, Veronica F.
Green, Kathryn M.
Jones, Malcolm K.
Degnan, Bernard M.
Lavin, Martin F.
Title Hemps, a novel EGF-like protein, plays a central role in ascidian metamorphosis
Journal name Development   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0950-1991
Publication date 1999-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 126
Issue 24
Start page 5809
End page 5818
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cambridge, U.K.
Publisher Company of Biologists
Collection year 1999
Language eng
Subject C3
730108 Cancer and related disorders
329902 Medical Biotechnology
Abstract All chordates share several characteristic features including a dorsal hollow neural tube, a notochord, a pharynx and an endostyle. Unlike other chordate taxa, ascidians have a biphasic life-history with two distinct body plans. During metamorphosis, the larval nerve cord and notochord degenerate and the pharyngeal gill slits and endostyle form. While ascidians, like other marine invertebrates, metamorphose in response to specific environmental cues, it remains unclear how these cues trigger metamorphosis. We have identified a novel gene (Hemps) which encodes a protein with a putative secretion signal sequence and four epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats which is a key regulator of metamorphosis in the ascidian Herdmania curvata. Expression of Hemps increases markedly when the swimming tadpole larva becomes competent to undergo metamorphosis and then during the first 24 hours of metamorphosis. The Hemps protein is localised to the larval papillae and anterior epidermis of the larva in the region known to be required for metamorphosis. When the larva contacts an inductive cue the protein is released, spreading posteriorly and into the tunic as metamorphosis progresses. Metamorphosis is blocked by incubating larvae in anti-Hemps antibodies prior to the addition of the cue. Addition of recombinant Hemps protein to competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a concentration-dependent manner. A subgroup of genes are specifically induced during this process. These results demonstrate that the Hemps protein is a keg regulator of ascidian metamorphosis and is distinct from previously described inducers of this process in terrestrial arthropods and aquatic vertebrates.
Keyword Developmental Biology
Herdmania Curvata
Egf-like Protein
Steroid-hormone Ecdysone
Growth Factor-like
Drosophila Metamorphosis
Differential Display
Evolutionary History
18s Rdna
Q-Index Code C3

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 13:35:00 EST