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Development. 2003 Jan;130(1):45-55.

Pitx1 and Pitx2 are required for development of hindlimb buds.

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  • 1Laboratoire de génétique moléculaire, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, 110 avenue des Pins Ouest, Montréal, QC H2W 1R7, Canada.


Two closely related homeobox transcription factors, Pitx1 and Pitx2, have been implicated in patterning of lateral plate mesoderm derivatives: Pitx1 for specification of hindlimb identity and Pitx2 for determination of laterality. We show that, together, Pitx1 and Pitx2 are required for formation of hindlimb buds and, when present in limited doses, for development of proximal (femur) and anterior (tibia and digit 1) hindlimb structures. Although Pitx1 is expressed throughout developing hindlimb buds, Pitx2 is not expressed in limb bud mesenchyme itself, but is co-expressed with Pitx1 in the presumptive hindlimb field before bud growth. Thus, Pitx1 and Pitx2 genes are required for sustained hindlimb bud growth and formation of hindlimbs.

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