Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Development. 1999 Nov;126(22):5011-26.

Compensatory defects associated with mutations in Hoxa1 restore normal palatogenesis to Hoxa2 mutants.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


The rhombencephalic neural crest play several roles in craniofacial development. They give rise to the cranial sensory ganglia and much of the craniofacial skeleton, and are vital for patterning of the craniofacial muscles. The loss of Hoxa1 or Hoxa2 function affects the development of multiple neural crest-derived structures. To understand how these two genes function together in craniofacial development, an allele was generated that disrupts both of these linked genes. Some of the craniofacial defects observed in the double mutants were additive combinations of those that exist in each of the single mutants, indicating that each gene functions independently in the formation of these structures. Other defects were found only in the double mutants demonstrating overlapping or synergistic functions. We also uncovered multiple defects in the attachments and trajectories of the extrinsic tongue and hyoid muscles in Hoxa2 mutants. Interestingly, the abnormal trajectory of two of these muscles, the styloglossus and the stylohyoideus, blocked the attachment of the hyoglossus to the greater horn of the hyoid, which in turn correlated exactly with the presence of cleft palate in Hoxa2 mutants. We suggest that the hyoglossus, whose function is to depress the lateral edges of the tongue, when unable to make its proper attachment to the greater horn of the hyoid, forces the tongue to adopt an abnormal posture which blocks closure of the palatal shelves. Unexpectedly, in Hoxa1/Hoxa2 double mutants, the penetrance of cleft palate is dramatically reduced. We show that two compensatory defects, associated with the loss of Hoxa1 function, restore normal attachment of the hyoglossus to the greater horn thereby allowing the palatal shelves to lift and fuse above the flattened tongue.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center