Day 25 (1q32.1-1q41): PROX1, determining the fate of cells in the eye,_Prospero_and_Ariel_by_Joseph_Severn.jpg

Day 25 has 65 genes, including PROX1 (Prospero homeobox protein 1). Like BRDT, the PROX1 gene gets its name from a similar gene originally discovered in flies that controls cell fate: prospero.

Unlike many other genes we’ve seen so far, the exact role of PROX1 protein is unclear. In general, homeodomain proteins like PROX1 direct the formation of organs by turning genes on and off during development. We know from genetic experiments in mouse that PROX1 is involved with development of the retina, and that is is most strongly expressed in human lens.

PROX1 is shared across bony vertebrates, and indeed the development of the lens was a crucial innovation in the Cambrian explosion of new species.

Click here to see your PROX1 gene on Day 25.


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