The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 759 - 765 (2013)

Vol 57, Issue 9-10

Eph receptors and ephrin class B ligands are expressed at tissue boundaries in Hydra vulgaris

Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 2 December 2013

Susanne Tischer1, Mona Reineck1, Johannes Söding2, Sandra Münder1 and Angelika Böttger*,1

1Department of Biology 2, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, 2Gene Center Munich and Department of Biochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany


Eph receptors and ephrins are important players in axon guidance, cell sorting and boundary formation. Both the receptors and the ligands are integrated transmembrane proteins and signalling is bidirectional. The prevalent outcome of signal transduction is repulsion of adjacent cells or cell populations. Eph/ephrins have been identified in all multicellular animals from human to sponge, their functions however appear to have been altered during evolution. Here we have identified four Eph receptors and three class B ligands in the cnidarian Hydra vulgaris, indicating that those are the evolutionary older ones. In situ hybridisation experiments revealed a striking complementarity of expression of receptors and ligands in tentacles and in developing buds. This suggests that the original function of ephrin signalling may have been in epithelial cell adhesion and the formation of tissue boundaries.


Eph-receptor, ephrin, hydra, boundaries, phylogeny

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