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Mech Dev. 2002 Aug;116(1-2):157-60.

Developmental expression of the T-box transcription factor T-bet/Tbx21 during mouse embryogenesis.

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  • 1Stem Cell Research Institute (SCRI), Istituto Scientifico HS Raffaele, Via Olgettina, 58 Milan, Italy.


A novel type of DNA-binding domain, the 'T-box' domain, characterizes an increasingly large family of transcription factors (Trends Genet. 15 (1999) 154). We have identified and characterized the expression pattern of a new member of the Tbr1 subfamily of T-box genes; this gene has been recently named T-bet/Tbx21 (Genomics 70 (2000) 41; Cell 17 (2000) 655; Science 292 (2001) 1907; Science 295 (2002) 338). The sequence and expression of Tbr1 and eomesodermin/Tbr2 are closely related to T-bet/Tbx21. The expression of Tbr1 (Neuron 15 (1995) 63) and Tbr2 (Mech Dev 84 (1999) 133) have virtually identical onset, at around E10.5, and expression domains in the mouse telencephalon. While Tbr1 is expressed in postmitotic neurons, Tbr2 (which is also expressed during gastrulation is also expressed in neural progenitors. We have used in situ hybridization to determine the temporal and spatial distribution of T-bet/Tbx21 expression during mouse development. T-bet/Tbx21 expression is exclusively restricted to the olfactory bulb and the thymus. To assess the distribution of T-BET/TBX21 expression in the haematopoietic compartment we used reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and found its expression in several human blood cell lineages, including progenitors/stem cells, immature B cells and peripheral T cells.

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