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Gene Expr Patterns. 2002 Dec;2(3-4):201-6.

Developmental expression of zebrafish emx1 during early embryogenesis.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. kawahara@exchange.nih.gov


Emx family homeobox genes, Emx1 and Emx2, play an essential role in rostral brain development in mammalian embryos. Here we report a zebrafish emx family gene, emx1, which is more similar to the mouse Emx1 gene than the previously reported zebrafish emx1 gene; we propose to rename that gene emx3. The expression of emx1 is first detected around the 10-somite stage in the pineal gland (epiphysis) primodium in the developing anterior brain and in the pronephric primodium within the intermediate mesoderm. emx1 expression in the epiphysis has not been reported in other species. Expression in the epiphysis is suppressed at 23 h post-fertilization (hpf) in the floating head (flh) mutant, in which development of the epiphysis is impaired. Subsequently, emx1 is expressed in the telencephalon, as reported in mammals, and can be detected in the olfactory placode and in a small group of cells in the forebrain at 25 hpf. In the mesoderm, emx1 expression is gradually concentrated in the posterior pronephric duct during somitogenesis, and becomes expressed predominantly in the urogenital opening at 25 hpf. Thus, emx1 displays a unique expression pattern that is distinct from the patterns of emx2 and emx3.

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