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Gene Expr Patterns. 2002 Dec;2(3-4):305-10.

VITO-1, a novel vestigial related protein is predominantly expressed in the skeletal muscle lineage.

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Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Hollystrasse 1, 06097 Halle, Germany.


In order to identify novel genes expressed in skeletal muscle we performed a subtractive hybridization for genes expressed in human skeletal muscle but not in other tissues. We identified a novel scalloped interaction domain (SID) containing protein in humans and in the mouse, which we named VITO-1. Highest homology of VITO-1 was found with the Drosophila vestigial and the human TONDU proteins in the SID (54 and 40%, respectively). Using whole-mount hybridzation and Northern blot analysis, we showed that VITO-1 is expressed in the somitic myotome from E8.75 mouse embryos onwards and later on in skeletal muscle but not in the heart. Additional expression domains during development were detected in the pharyngeal pouches and clefts starting at E8.0 as well as in the cranial pharynx and in Rathkes pouch. By Northern blot analysis, we found VITO-1 to be up-regulated in C2C12 myotubes although some expression can be detected in proliferating C2C12 myoblasts. No expression was spotted in other adult mouse tissues. Likewise, expression of human Vito-1 during fetal and adult human development was found exclusively in skeletal muscle preferentially in fast skeletal muscles. These data suggest a role of VITO-1 for the development of skeletal muscles and of pharyngeal clefts/Rathkes' pouch derived structures.

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