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Science. 2002 Aug 16;297(5584):1180-3. Epub 2002 Jul 18.

Tissue-specific regulation of retinal and pituitary precursor cell proliferation.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, 9500 Gilman Drive, Room 345, La Jolla, CA 92093-0648, USA.


Mammalian organogenesis requires the expansion of pluripotent precursor cells before the subsequent determination of specific cell types, but the tissue-specific molecular mechanisms that regulate the initial expansion of primordial cells remain poorly defined. We have genetically established that Six6 homeodomain factor, acting as a strong tissue-specific repressor, regulates early progenitor cell proliferation during mammalian retinogenesis and pituitary development. Six6, in association with Dach corepressors, regulates proliferation by directly repressing cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, including the p27Kip1 promoter. These data reveal a molecular mechanism by which a tissue-specific transcriptional repressor-corepressor complex can provide an organ-specific strategy for physiological expansion of precursor populations.

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