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Dev Dyn. 2002 Nov;225(3):336-43.

PLEXIN-D1, a novel plexin family member, is expressed in vascular endothelium and the central nervous system during mouse embryogenesis.

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Department of Neurology, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The genetic defect in Möbius syndrome 2 (MBS2, MIM 601471), a dominantly inherited disorder characterised by paralysis of the facial nerve, is situated at chromosome 3q21-q22. We characterised the cDNA and predicted protein, and examined the expression pattern during mouse embryogenesis of a positional candidate gene, PLEXIN-D1 (PLXND1). The cDNA for PLXND1 is 7095 base pairs in length, coding for a predicted protein of 1925 amino acids. The protein features all known domains of plexin family members, with the exception of the third Met-related sequence. Northern analysis revealed a very low expression of PLXND1 in adult mouse and adult human tissues. To investigate the expression of PlxnD1 during embryogenesis, RNA in situ hybridisation was performed on mouse embryos from various stages. This investigation revealed expression of PlxnD1 in cells from the central nervous system (CNS) and in vascular endothelium. Early expression in the CNS is located in the ganglia, cortical plate of the cortex, and striatum. At later embryologic stages, neural expression was also seen in the external granular layer of the cerebellum and several nerve nuclei. The expression in the vascular system resides solely in the endothelial cells of developing blood vessels. Based on our results, we suggest that this expression of a member of the plexin family in vascular endothelium could point toward a role in embryonic vasculogenesis.

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