We have isolated a homeobox-containing cDNA from the gastropod mollusc Haliotis rufescens that is most similar to members of the Mox homeobox gene class. The derived Haliotis homeodomain sequence is 85% identical to mouse and frog Mox2 homeodomains and 88.9% identical to the partial cnidarian cnox5-Hm homeodomain. Quantitative reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction analysis of mRNA accumulation reveals that this gene, called HruMox, is expressed in the larva, but not in the early embryo. Transcripts are most prevalent during larval morphogenesis from trochophore to veliger. There are also transient increases in transcript prevalence 1 and 3 days after the intitiation of metamorphosis from veliger to juvenile. The identification of a molluscan Mox homeobox gene that is more closely related to vertebrate genes than other protostome (e.g. Drosophila) genes suggests the Mox class of homeobox genes may consist of several different families that have been conserved through evolution.
Degnan, B. M., Degnan, S. M., Fentenany, G., & Morse, D. E. (1997). A Mox homeobox gene in the gastropod mollusc Haliotis rufescens is differentially expressed during larval morphogenesis and metamorphosis. FEBS Letters, 411(1), 119–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0014-5793(97)00571-1