© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017.Runx genes have been identified in all metazoans and considerable conservation of function observed across a wide range of phyla. Thus, insight gained from studying simple model organisms is invaluable in understanding RUNX biology in higher animals. Consequently, this chapter will focus on the Runx genes in the diploblasts, which includes sea anemones and sponges, as well as the lower triploblasts, including the sea urchin, nematode, planaria and insect. Due to the high degree of functional redundancy amongst vertebrate Runx genes, simpler model organisms with a solo Runx gene, like C. elegans, are invaluable systems in which to probe the molecular basis of RUNX function within a whole organism. Additionally, comparative analyses of Runx sequence and function allows for the development of novel evolutionary insights. Strikingly, recent data has emerged that reveals the presence of a Runx gene in a protist, demonstrating even more widespread occurrence of Runx genes than was previously thought. This review will summarize recent progress in using invertebrate organisms to investigate RUNX function during development and regeneration, highlighting emerging unifying themes.
|Name||Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology|