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Nat Genet. 1999 Dec;23(4):466-70.

Retinopathy and attenuated circadian entrainment in Crx-deficient mice.

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Department of Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Crx, an Otx-like homeobox gene, is expressed specifically in the photoreceptors of the retina and the pinealocytes of the pineal gland. Crx has been proposed to have a role in the regulation of photoreceptor-specific genes in the eye and of pineal-specific genes in the pineal gland. Mutations in human CRX are associated with the retinal diseases, cone-rod dystrophy-2 (adCRD2; refs 3, 4, 5), retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), which all lead to loss of vision. We generated mice carrying a targeted disruption of Crx. Crx-/- mice do not elaborate photoreceptor outer segments and lacked rod and cone activity as assayed by electroretinogram (ERG). Expression of several photoreceptor- and pineal-specific genes was reduced in Crx mutants. Circadian entrainment was also affected in Crx-/- mice.

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