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Mech Dev. 1999 Aug;86(1-2):29-38.

jumonji gene is essential for the neurulation and cardiac development of mouse embryos with a C3H/He background.

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Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences, 11 Minamiooya, Machida, Tokyo 194-8511, Japan.


The recessive mutant mouse jumonji (jmj), obtained by a gene trap strategy, shows neural tube defects in approximately half of homozygous embryos with a BALB/cA and 129/Ola mixed background, but no neural tube defects with BALB/cA, C57BL/6J, and DBA/2J backgrounds. Here, we show that neural tube and cardiac defects are observed in all embryos with a C3H/HeJ background. In addition, abnormal groove formation and prominent flexure are observed on the neural plate with full penetrance, suggesting that abnormal groove formation leads to neural tube defects. We found morphogenetic abnormalities in the bulbus cordis (future outflow tract and the right ventricle) of homozygous embryo hearts. Moreover, myocytes in the ventricular trabeculae show hyperplasia with cells filling the ventricles. Together with the observation that the jmj gene is expressed in the neural epithelium of the head neural plate and in myocytes in the bulbus cordis and trabeculae, the results show that the jmj gene plays essential roles in the normal development of the neural plate, morphogenesis of bulbus cordis, and proliferation of trabecular myocytes on a C3H/He background.

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