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Dev Biol. 1999 Sep 1;213(1):202-6.

The mouse Cer1 (Cerberus related or homologue) gene is not required for anterior pattern formation.

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MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh, EH4 2XU, United Kingdom.


Cer1 is the mouse homologue of the Xenopus Cerberus gene whose product is able to induce development of head structures during embryonic development. The Cer1 protein is a member of the cysteine knot superfamily and is expressed in anterior regions of the mouse gastrula. A segmental pattern of expression with nascent and newly formed somites is also seen. This suggests an additional role in development of the axial skeleton, musculature, or peripheral nervous system. Xenopus animal cap assays and mouse germ-layer explant recombination experiments indicate that the mouse protein can act as a patterning molecule for anterior development in Xenopus, including induction of Otx2 expression, and suggest it may have a similar role in mouse development. However, we present here genetic data that demonstrate that Cer1 is not necessary for anterior patterning, Otx2 expression, somite formation, or even normal mouse morphogenesis.

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