We report the discovery of a structural feature (the HRC3 motif) present in the homeoboxes of HOX genes of segmented bilaterian animals.
The feature is highly significant, and strongly conserved between very distant animal clades.
For details, see: A Conserved Structural Signature of the Homeobox Coding DNA in HOX genes
Bernard Fongang, Fanping Kong, Surendra Negi, Werner Braun & Andrzej Kudlicki,
The HRC3 motifs are found in a number of coding and non-coding positions in the genome.
It is present in the Hox genes of segmented animals, but not in clades as mollusks that lack true segmentation.
Functional annotation of the HRC3 loci suggests their involvement in directing histone modifications to their specific loci, as well as functions in other nuclear processes.
Gene Ontology terms of HRC genes (genes with HRC3 within coding sequence or promoter region) are significantly enriched in development.
For details, see Kudlicki, 2016. (in review)
Data and source code will be available after publication