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Journal Article

Expression of homeobox gene Hox 1.1 during mouse embryogenesis.


Gruss,  P.
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Mahon, K. A., Westphal, H., & Gruss, P. (1988). Expression of homeobox gene Hox 1.1 during mouse embryogenesis. Development, 104, 187-195.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-F316-2
Many of the genes controlling segmentation and pattern formation in Drosophila contain a conserved 183 bp sequence known as the homeobox. Homeobox sequences have been found in a range of metazoan species, including the vertebrates mouse and man. This striking conservation suggests that homeobox genes may play a fundamental role in developmental processes. If this is the case then it might be expected that vertebrate homeobox genes will be differentially expressed during embryogenesis and that the timing of their expression will coincide with major morphogenetic events. Here the spatial and temporal patterns of expression of murine homeobox genes will be explored, concentrating on the Hox 1.1 gene as an example. Using in situ hybridization to localize RNA transcripts, it has been found that Hox 1.1 is expressed in a region-specific manner during the formation and differentiation of the embryonic anteroposterior axis. Although striking patterns of expression of Hox 1.1 and other homeobox genes are seen in overtly segmented structures of the embryo (i.e. somites, prevertebral elements, neural tube and dorsal spinal ganglia) expression is also seen in tissues with no obvious segmental origin. The results suggest that homeobox genes probably do not play an exclusive role in segmentation in vertebrates, but are consistent with a role in the assignment of positional identity along the axis of the embryo.