Chx10 functions as a regulator of molecular pathways controlling the regional identity in the primordial retina

Dev Biol. 2016 May 1;413(1):104-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2016.03.023. Epub 2016 Mar 19.


The light-sensitive neural retina (NR) and the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) develop from a common primordium, the optic vesicle, raising the question of how they acquire and maintain distinct identities. Here, we demonstrate that sustained misexpression of the Chx10 homeobox gene in the presumptive RPE in chick suppresses accumulation of melanin pigments and promotes ectopic NR-like neural differentiation. This phenotypic change involved ectopic expression of NR transcription factor genes, Sox2, Six3, Rx1 and Optx2, which, when misexpressed, counteracted RPE development without upregulating Chx10. These results suggest that Chx10 can function as a cell autonomous regulator of the regional identity in the primordial retina, presumably through a downstream transcriptional cascade.

Keywords: Chick; Electroporation; Eye; Neural retina; Retinal pigmented epithelium.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chick Embryo
  • Electroporation
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Pigmentation
  • Retina / embryology*
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / metabolism*
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transfection


  • Eye Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Sine oculis homeobox homolog 3 protein
  • Transcription Factors