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Journal Article

The T-box transcription factor Tbx18 maintains the separation of anterior and posterior somite compartments


Leitges,  M.
Department of Genes and Behavior, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Bussen, M., Petry, M., Schuster-Gossler, K., Leitges, M., Gossler, A., & Kispert, A. (2004). The T-box transcription factor Tbx18 maintains the separation of anterior and posterior somite compartments. Genes and Development, 18(10), 1209-1221. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&dopt=Citation&list_uids=15155583.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-ED55-C
The compartmentalization of somites along their anterior-posterior (AP) axis is pivotal to the segmental organization of the vertebrate axial skeleton and the peripheral nervous system. Anterior and posterior somite halves contribute to different vertebral elements. They are also characterized by different proliferation rates and properties with respect to neural crest cell migration and spinal nerve passage. AP-somite polarity is generated in the anterior presomitic mesoderm by Mesp2 and Delta/Notch signaling. Here, we demonstrate that maintenance of AP-somite polarity is mediated by the T-box transcription factor Tbx18. Mice deficient for Tbx18 show expansion of pedicles with transverse processes and proximal ribs, elements derived from the posterior lateral sclerotome. AP-somite polarity is established in Tbx18 mutant embryos but is not maintained. During somite maturation, posterior somite compartments expand most likely because of posterior cells invading the anterior somite half. In the anterior lateral sclerotome, Tbx18 acts as an antiapoptotic factor. Ectopic expression experiments suggest that Tbx18 can promote anterior at the expense of posterior somite compartments. In summary, Tbx18 appears to act downstream of Mesp2 and Delta/Notch signaling to maintain the separation of anterior and posterior somite compartments.