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Dev Genes Evol. 2006 Dec;216(12):829-34. Epub 2006 Nov 14.

Cloning and developmental expression of the Xenopus homeobox gene Xvsx1.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia, Universit√° degli Studi di Pisa, Via Carducci 13, 56010 Ghezzano, Pisa, Italy.


In contrast to the high degree of evolutionary conservation of the Vsx2/Chx10 gene family, vertebrate orthologues of Vsx1 display more divergent sequences and spatio-temporal expression patterns. Here, we report the cloning and expression pattern of Xenopus laevis Vsx1. Differently from the mouse and zebrafish orthologues, Xvsx1 transcription is activated at early neurula both in the evaginating eye vesicles and in the presumptive spinal cord. Compared to other retinal homeobox genes, such as Xrx1, Xsix3 and Xpax6, Xvsx1 is activated at a later stage; in addition, its anterior expression appears to be more specifically restricted to the retina. At tail bud stage, Xvsx1 expression in retinal progenitors persists, and its neural tube expression, which in the spinal cord corresponds to interneurons, progressively expands anteriorly reaching the midbrain-hindbrain boundary. During retinal neurogenesis, Xvsx1 expression is maintained in retinal progenitors and in a peripheral region of the ciliary marginal zone, while in the central retina, it becomes restricted to differentiated bipolar cells.

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