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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Jul 5;295(1):85-91.

Molecular cloning and characterization of dullard: a novel gene required for neural development.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8654, Japan.


In a screen for genes expressed in neural tissues and pronephroi, we isolated a novel gene, named dullard. Dullard protein contains the C-terminal conserved domain of NLI-IF (Nuclear LIM Interactor-Interacting Factor), a protein whose function is not yet characterized. Dullard mRNA was maternally derived and localized to the animal hemisphere. At neurula stages, the expression was in neural regions and subsequently localized to neural tissues, branchial arches, and pronephroi. Using antisense morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated inhibition, we showed that dullard was required for neural development. The translational knock-down of dullard resulted in failure of neural tube development and the embryos consequently showed a reduction of head development. Expression of neural marker genes in dullard-inhibited embryos was also suppressed. These results suggest that dullard is necessary for neural development.

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