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J Urol. 1999 May;161(5):1655-61.

Hoxa-13 gene mutation results in abnormal seminal vesicle and prostate development.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA.


The role of Hoxa-13 in postnatal morphogenesis of the male accessory sex organs was assessed by correlating the Hoxa-13 expression domain with phenotypic abnormalities in heterozygous Hypodactyly mutants. Hypodactyly is a naturally occurring semi-dominant mutation that results from a 50-base pair deletion in exon one of the Hoxa-13 allele. We demonstrate that Hoxa-13 is broadly expressed in the developing lower genitourinary tract and that the Hypodactyly mutation results in a specific phenotype characterized by decreased size and branching of the dorsolateral and ventral prostate and abnormal seminal vesicle morphology. This phenotype partially overlaps the genitourinary phenotype observed in Hoxd-13 deficient mice and comparison showed similar domains of Hoxa-13 and Hoxd-13 expression in the lower genitourinary tract. The similarity in expression and overlap in phenotype resulting from mutation is consistent with additive function and partial functional redundancy of Hoxa-13 and Hoxd-13 in male accessory sex organ development.

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