Ectopic lens induction in fish in response to the murine homeobox gene Six3

Mech Dev. 1996 Dec;60(2):233-9. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(96)00632-6.


Recent findings show an unexpected conservation of genes involved in vertebrate and insect eye development. The Drosophila homeobox gene sine oculis is crucial for eye development. Its murine homologue, Six3 is expressed in the anterior neural plate, a region which is involved in lens induction in Xenopus. To examine whether Six3 participates in the process of eye formation, mouse Six3 was ectopically expressed in fish embryos. The results show that Six3 is sufficient to promote ectopic lens formation in the area of the otic vesicle and that retinal tissue is not a prerequisite for ectopic lens differentiation. Our findings suggest a conserved function for Six3 in metazoan eye development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crystallins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Embryonic Induction / genetics
  • Eye Proteins
  • Fishes
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Homeodomain Proteins / pharmacology
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lens, Crystalline / drug effects
  • Lens, Crystalline / embryology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / physiology


  • Crystallins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Pax6 protein, mouse
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Sine oculis homeobox homolog 3 protein