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Development. 2003 Feb;130(3):495-505.

Functional ablation of the mouse Ldb1 gene results in severe patterning defects during gastrulation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The LIM domain-binding protein 1 (Ldb1) is found in multi-protein complexes containing various combinations of LIM-homeodomain, LIM-only, bHLH, GATA and Otx transcription factors. These proteins exert key functions during embryogenesis. Here we show that targeted deletion of the Ldb1 gene in mice results in a pleiotropic phenotype. There is no heart anlage and head structures are truncated anterior to the hindbrain. In about 40% of the mutants, posterior axis duplication is observed. There are also severe defects in mesoderm-derived extraembryonic structures, including the allantois, blood islands of the yolk sack, primordial germ cells and the amnion. Abnormal organizer gene expression during gastrulation may account for the observed axis defects in Ldb1 mutant embryos. The expression of several Wnt inhibitors is curtailed in the mutant, suggesting that Wnt pathways may be involved in axial patterning regulated by Ldb1.

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